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Introducing the "Protect America First Act of '06"


Reps. Barrow & Thompson to Hold Press Conference Introducing the "Protect America First Act of 2006"

Proposed legislation would implement tough new security oversight standards of foreign investments into American businesses involved in national security and military defense.

Congressmen John Barrow (GA-12) and Bennie Thompson (MS-02), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, will hold a press conference on Thursday, March 9th introducing the Protect America First Act of 2006. This legislation would i__mplement tough new security oversight standards of foreign investments into American businesses involved in national security and military defense.

In the wake of recent news surrounding the pending acquisition of six major U.S. ports by a United Arab Emirates based company, as well as the proposed purchases of several American plants that produce military aircraft and tank engines by a separate company controlled by the United Arab Emirate's ruling al-Maktoum family, Barrow and Thompson are calling on Congress to allow for greater Congressional oversight of investigations launched by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Under current law, CFIUS investigations are kept confidential. The Committee is not required to provide Congress with security recommendations regarding investigated mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers. Congress is notified only if the President decides to suspend or prohibit the transaction, which has only happened once in the last 18 years.

The Protect America First Act of 2006 would change the current law by requiring that CFIUS notify specific members of Congress about pending foreign investments, including Senators and House Members whose State or District are directly affected by the transaction. Furthermore, if CFIUS decides to launch a security investigation, the new law would require that CFIUS notify these Members within one day of making that decision.

Barrow's bill would also call on the President to move CFIUS responsibilities from the Treasury Department to the Department of Homeland Security. CFIUS would then be chaired by the Secretary of Homeland Security, rather than the Secretary of the Treasury.

WHAT: Press conference with Reps. Barrow (GA-12) and Thompson (MS-02) to outline new legislation that would implement tough security oversight standards of foreign investments in American businesses involved in national security and military defense.

WHEN: Thursday, March 9th, 2006 at 1:00 PM.

WHERE: House Radio-TV Gallery, H-321 of the Capitol.


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