Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, delivered the following opening remarks today at a full committee markup of H.R. 2153, H.Res. 189, H.Res. 230, H.R. 1771, H.Res. 410, H.Res. 349, H.R.4754, S.178, H.Res. 585, H.R. 554, H.R. 2881, H.R. 3763, H.Res. 446, H.R. 1819, H.R. 4802, H.R. 4862, H.Res. 649, H.Res. 546:
"I’m pleased to support all of the bipartisan measures before us today, and I thank our members for their hard work. I’ll keep my remarks brief and highlight just a few of the 18 bills and resolutions.
"First, House Resolution 585 from Mr. Suozzi, which reaffirms Congress’s support for the historic peace that the Good Friday Agreement brought to Ireland. This is an issue particularly close to my heart. I remember my first trip as a member of Congress in 1989, traveling to Ireland, traveling to Belfast during the dark days of the Troubles.
"The Good Friday Agreement—and the fulfillment of every obligation under that Agreement—is the only way to ensure that those times of violence and division never return. That’s why I’m so alarmed by the current situation with Brexit, which could reintroduce a hard border between the North and the Republic – a dangerous prospect not only for the peace process, but for the economic stability of the island and for the rights of the border communities.
"With this resolution, Congress sends a clear signal to the U.K. and the E.U. that any Brexit deal must protect the Good Friday Agreement and all its components. I strongly support this good measure and I hope all members will join me in moving it forward.
"Next, I’ll move on to two good measures that deal with 5G, a technology that has the potential to revolutionize so many sectors, from transportation to health care to entertainment. So, there will be massive economic benefits for those who can quickly take full advantage of the new technology.
"But it also comes with big risks. As people become more dependent on wireless communications and generate even more data about their lives, the adoption of 5G will bring national security, cybersecurity and privacy challenges.
"That’s why there’s such broad, bipartisan consensus that it’s important to assert American leadership in 5G technology—to compete with China and others on the international stage and simultaneously to protect the networks of the United States and its allies from spying eyes and cyberattacks.
"We have two bills in front of us today that address the future of 5G in a meaningful way.
"First, we have Ms. Spanberger’s Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2019, an overarching bill that requires the Administration to develop a security strategy for 5G systems and infrastructure in the United States, to assist allies and partners to do the same, and to protect the competitiveness of US companies.
"And we have Ranking Member McCaul’s Promoting United States International Leadership in 5G Act, which calls for a plan to promote US leadership at international standards-setting bodies for 5G.
"I’m pleased to support both of these measures that address this critical technology issue for the United States.
"I’d also like to highlight the Keeping Girls in School Act, authored by Ms. Frankel. When women and girls have access to education, they lift up entire communities, with better health outcomes, economic wellbeing, and security for everyone. This bill calls on USAID to address the barriers to keeping girls in school around the world. It’s a strong measure I’m proud to support.
"Finally, I’ll turn to Mr. Sherman’s amendment in the nature of a substitute to Senator Rubio’s Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act. Mr. Sherman’s amendment – based on his UIGHUR Act—shows the Chinese government that Congress will not condone the horrific human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Western China. It builds upon the good work of Mr. Smith, Mr. Suozzi, and our Senate colleagues by adding sanctions and export restrictions to make sure U.S. technology isn’t being used by Beijing to oppress and mistreat China’s ethnic and religious minorities.
"I strongly support all the measures we are considering today, and I urge all members to join me and do the same."