But the Florida Republicans seek to confront a very real-world problem that, left unaddressed, allows the U.S. government to actually fund its most ruthless adversaries, particularly China.
Rubio and Scott last week filed ‘‘Turn Off Federal Funding of Threatening Entities that Thwart American Prosperity Act.’’ The bill goes by the shorter name of the ‘‘Turn OFF THE TAP” act.
According to the bill, “No amounts [of U.S. taxpayer dollars] provided by the Federal Government to any entity may be used by that entity to purchase goods or services from, invest in, enter into a contract with, or otherwise provide funding to” certain groups or individuals blacklisted by the U.S. government for their hostile intent.
The bill, if enacted, would prevent federal funding from going to those on the government’s “SDN” list, which includes terrorists, officials from authoritarian anti-American regimes, and international criminals who are seen as a threat to the national security and economic interests of the United States.
For example, Russian President Vladimir Putin and one of his key allies, Syrian President Bashar al Assad, are on the list.
But Rubio and Scott’s bill also would target entities or people who are not on that list but who still serve or finance the Chinese military, as well as makers of communications equipment and services that “pose an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States.”
In a statement, Rubio said, “It’s not only dangerous to fund Chinese businesses with American taxpayer dollars, but it’s also dumb. This bill would prohibit federal funds from bankrolling Chinese and other firms we know are not acting in our best interest.”
In his statement, Scott added, We know Communist China will stop at nothing to try and exploit American markets and take advantage of American businesses operating within the genocidal regime’s borders. The Turn OFF THE TAP Act will stop the flow of hardworking Americans’ dollars to countries like Communist China who want to hurt our economy. This legislation is a no-brainer, and I urge the support of my colleagues for its quick passage.”
GOP Sen. Masha Blackburn of Tennessee also sponsored their bill.
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In her comments, she noted, “It is unconscionable that the Biden administration has enabled the Chinese Communist Party to rake in cash from American taxpayers. Rather than letting Joe Biden award grants or sign federal contracts that undermine the United States, I am cosponsoring legislation to cut our adversaries off. The White House needs to stop emboldening the New Axis of Evil and start putting America first.”