Google Chinese Relationship Sparks Congressional Concern

Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) along with Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Congressman Mike Conway (R-Texas), Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland) today sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai expressing concern about Google's relationship with the Chinese telecom company Huawei because of its potential threat to U.S. national security.

"Chinese telecommunications companies, such as Huawei, have extensive ties with the Chinese Communist Party. As a result, this partnership between Google and Huawei could pose a serious risk to U.S. national security and American consumers," the members wrote.

The letter urges Google to reconsider their work with Huawai, particularly in light of their decision to terminate a key partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense known as Project Maven.

The full text of the letter can be found below.

June 20, 2018

Sundar Pichai
Chief Executive Officer
Google LLC
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Mr. Pichai,

We write to express our concerns about Google's "strategic partnership" with Huawei Technologies. Chinese telecommunications companies, such as Huawei, have extensive ties with the Chinese Communist Party. As a result, this partnership between Google and Huawei could pose a serious risk to U.S. national security and American consumers.

Since the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released its investigative report on the national-security issues posed by Chinese telecommunications firms in 2012, U.S. officials have publicly raised concerns about Huawei's ties to the Chinese government. During a February 2018 hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the heads of six U.S. intelligence agencies warned American citizens not to use Huawei products or services. At the same hearing, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray testified that he was "deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks." The concerns of the Intelligence Community are well founded: recent reports indicate that a former U.S. intelligence officer charged with spying for the Chinese government used Huawei technology to communicate with his handlers.

In fact, Congress is considering a number of bipartisan measures to address the threat posed by Huawei. Earlier this year, we introduced the Defending U.S. Government Communications Act, which would prohibit the U.S. government from purchasing or leasing telecommunications equipment or services from Huawei or other Chinese telecommunications companies. Both chambers of Congress have included elements of this bill in the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. In addition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed a measure that would bar the use of the FCC's Universal Service Fund to purchase equipment or services from companies deemed a national-security risk, including Huawei. Over the coming months, the federal government will likely take further measures to defend U.S. telecommunications networks from Huawei and companies like it.

We urge you to reconsider Google's partnership with Huawei, particularly since your company recently refused to renew a key research partnership, Project Maven, with the Department of Defense. This project uses artificial intelligence to improve the accuracy of U.S. military targeting, not least to reduce civilian casualties. While we regret that Google did not want to continue a long and fruitful tradition of collaboration between the military and technology companies, we are even more disappointed that Google apparently is more willing to support the Chinese Communist Party than the U.S. military.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to your response, including the rationale for your decision to partner with Huawei but not the U.S. military, as well as your plans to mitigate the grave risks of working with Huawei.


Posted June 21, 2018

Fund the Troops First, says Conservative Action Project

Conservatives want the Senate to work fulltime and overtime starting now until their work is done. Working Americans do this, or they don't get paid. Eliminating paid leave in August is nice but insufficient.

As we have outlined in previous memos, conservatives now call on the Senate's leadership to use this critical time to pass all of their appropriations bills, confirm President Trump's nominees, and work to implement a strong conservative agenda.

Specifically, we call on the Senate to prioritize funding for the troops. Before passing a funding bill for themselves, which the Senate has indicated they are planning to do, the Senate should immediately take up funding bills for the Department of Defense and the Veteran's Administration. Fund the troops first. Fund Congress last.

Moreover, the substance of these funding bills is important. When Congress passed its $1.3 trillion spending bill in March, it failed to defund sanctuary cities, failed to defund Planned Parenthood and failed to address any part of Obamacare. It also openly blocked President Trump from building his border wall. The Senate should use this current opportunity to address these long-standing campaign promises.

Finally, we ask the Senate to clear the historic backlog of President Trump's nominees. There remain 156 nominees pending in committee, and 108 available for immediate floor consideration. This Senate has confirmed substantially fewer nominees under this president than at similar times under his last four predecessors. Despite progress on judicial nominees, there are now more judicial vacancies than when Trump took office last year. Given this, we urge the Senate to use the full weight of the Senate's rules against Democrat obstruction of Trump's nominees.

The Senate must show it is serious about doing its job by using this canceled recess to accomplish these priorities. We look forward to supporting them in these efforts.

Posted June 15, 2018

House Passes Trump Spending Cuts

From The Hill 06/08/2018

House passes Trump's plan to claw back $15 billion in spending The House voted along party lines late Thursday to pass a White House proposal that would claw back nearly $15 billion in previously approved government funding.

The House approved the measure in a vote of 210-206, with conservatives calling it a step in the right direction after they ripped into the price tag of the $1.3 trillion spending bill President Trump signed earlier this year.

Posted June 08, 2018

California: Better for Republicans

According to Nancy Pelosi, the road to her becoming again Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives runs through California. Her goal is to win the seats that Hillary Clinton carried in the 2016 elections. These include seats that were in the old conservative bastion of Orange County.

After the recent primary in California, that may be a little more difficult than originally thought by the Democrats. The reason: Republicans actually received more votes than Democrats in 4 of 5 of these seats.

CA 25: Congressman Steve Knight is on the Democrats target list. Clinton won this district 50 to 43 percent. In the jungle primary where all candidates run no matter their party, Knight received 52.8 % of all ballots cast to 47.2% for all Democrats combined.

CA 39: Congressman Ed Royce is retiring from this seat where the Hispanic population is rising fast and the Asian population even faster. Young Kim (a Republican) came in first. In second place Gil Cisneros (the Democrat) sets up the November election. The total Republican vote cast was 46,407 versus a total for Democrats of 37,873. Young Kim can win this seat if she runs a good campaign. (Clinton won this district by 8 percentage points.)

CA 45: Congresswoman Mimi Walters is also on the Democrats target list. Clinton carried this district by 5 percentage points. The Republican vote total here in the primary was 54,623 versus 45,673 for the Democrats.

CA 48: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher is being heavily targeted by the Democrats (Clinton won the district by 48% to 46%). Once again Republicans outpolled Democrats. This time the margin was 58,080 to 50,266.

CA 49: This is the only one of the five districts discussed where Democrats outpolled Republicans but not by much. Darrell Issa is retiring. The totals were close: the Democrats received 56,488 to 54,136 for the Republicans.

What does the above show? It shows that Republicans must run solid races in each of these districts but they can win even after the Democrats spent millions of dollars to weaken incumbents and hurt conservative challengers in open seats.

The Democrats can take back the House and win some of these seats if we don't go all out to help conservative candidates.

Posted June 08, 2018
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