Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, delivered the following opening statement at a full Committee hearing entitled, “Oversight of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and Other Efforts to Strengthen National Security in the United States.”
Good morning. My Democratic colleagues and I have long worked in a bipartisan way to protect our national security interests by closely monitoring foreign investments. We all agree that that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or CFIUS is a critical tool towards that end. That’s why I am disappointed that once again, extreme MAGA Republicans are trying to shut down the government. If they are successful, everyone in this country will be at greater security risk.
I am also deeply concerned about the legislation that extremist Republicans here in Congress and in states like Florida and South Dakota are jamming through to prohibit certain groups of people with no connection to actual security risks from purchasing land. Let me be clear, this approach would do nothing for national security, would waste valuable resources, and in many cases, is simply racist. CFIUS and its resources should be focused on actual, legitimate threats to our nation’s security, not on barring individuals from economic opportunities on the sole basis of their national origin.
Next, I want to discuss outbound investments and whether American investments are being used to prop up U.S. adversaries. I’ve applauded the Biden Administration’s latest actions on this issue. For years, Committee Democrats and I have sounded the alarm on how private equity and venture capital funds are being used to finance military and adversarial tech in the People’s Republic of China. The President’s executive order is a good first step, but more can be done.
For instance, an outbound screening framework could also address U.S. company supply chain resiliency, how workers are treated overseas, and climate risks, all of which deeply affect our economy and security. In addition, the Administration could review certain passive forms of investing, such as mutual funds and index investing, so Americans know whether and how their hard-earned savings support adversarial nations. We also need to review the investments that private equity and venture capital firms are making in China-based companies because they may also pose ongoing threats.
I hope my Republican colleagues agree that if we are truly to confront our adversaries, we need to ensure that CFIUS agencies are adequately funded and the trillions of dollars in America’s capital markets are not working against our interests.
Lastly, I want to be clear that as we discuss national security, CFIUS is only one of many areas we should be concerned about. Not only are we weeks away from an extreme MAGA Republican shutdown that will pose grave harm to our nation’s security, but Republicans are leading the charge to halt supplemental aid to support Ukraine in its fight against Putin’s unlawful invasion. If they succeed, this will cause immeasurable harm to U.S. national security interests and democratic values, and only embolden countries like China. I urge my colleagues to reverse course immediately, before it’s too late.
I yield back.