China poses a "significant threat" to the United States in many ways, said Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., who on Thursday introduced a bill that would prohibit the purchase of public or private agricultural land in the U.S. by foreign nationals associated with the government of the People's Republic of China.
"I'm a farmer from the central part of Washington state, so this is an issue that I have seen firsthand. And then the more I've learned about the increased purchase of agricultural assets in the United States by the communist government of China has led me to believe that this is a necessary step that we must take," Newhouse told Newsmax's "The Chris Salcedo Show" on Thursday.
"I started this effort two years ago, and it's been gaining momentum. We've been educating a lot of members of Congress. And on this bill alone, I think we have almost five dozen co-sponsors on the legislation. That encourages me greatly. And like you said, I'm now a member of the select committee to look into the threat that communist China poses to the United States, and this is going to be a very important part of what we do as a committee."
According to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports, Chinese investors' holdings of U.S. agricultural land surged from 13,720 acres in 2010 to 352,140 acres in 2020.
The USDA's most recent report on foreign landholding through Dec. 31, 2020, shows foreign investors now hold an interest in nearly 37.6 million acres of agricultural land in the U.S. — an area larger than the state of Iowa.
Newhouse said he thinks awareness around the issue is growing, "even in the Senate," and that Republicans have a great chance of passing the bill.
On DirecTV's deplatforming of Newsmax, Newhouse said: "This is another example in the long line of examples of stopping the voice of different points of view in this country that's a very dangerous path for this country to go down.
"I tell young people all the time who ask me where do I get my news, where do I get my information, I always tell them that they need to not rely on any one source or any one slant either. Look at the broad arrange of new sources that are out there. And ... when you have them being artificially silenced, that is very concerning; and it really lessens the availability of information to people around the country."
Newhouse also supported stopping the flow of taxpayer dollars to expand AT&T cellular service to outlying areas around the country until AT&T stopped silencing conservative voices.
"I think you have a great point at something that we as U.S. representatives should be doing to make sure that any taxpayer dollars that are utilized in this country have to be utilized equitably and fairly, no matter if you agree with what people are saying or not," he told Salcedo.
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