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Washington, D.C.  U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, spoke on the Senate floor before the Senate killed his amendment (#1802) 55-40 to the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (S. 1260). Rubio’s amendment, filed May 20, would have established a counterintelligence screening process to protect the United States against China’s and other adversaries’ efforts to engage in economic espionage and misappropriate America’s intellectual property, research and development, and innovation efforts. Rubio previously expressed concern about the lack of guardrails in the Endless Frontier Act.
 
A brief excerpt of Rubio’s remarks is below:
 
“What I want you to understand is that this is not a minor security threat. This is the number priority of Chinese intelligence. This is their number one priority. This is what all of their agencies and all of their government is geared towards doing. 
 
“And we are going to put all this money in there in the hope that the safeguards we are going to put in place are going to work. I hope they do. But what if they don’t? 
 
“What if a year from now we find out -- you’re going to read an article two years from now, whenever -- that says, ‘the Chinese have stolen a quarter -- 25, 30 percent -- of the IP developed by the money that’s put forward in the bill that was passed.’ We’re all going to feel pretty stupid around here.”
 
Watch his full remarks here
 
The amendment was co-sponsored by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Jim Risch (R-ID), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Ben Sasse (R-NE), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA).