A group of 20 House members led by Reps. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., and Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., are urging the House Appropriations Committee to provide more funding for the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program (SCRP).

The SCRP was created by Congress to help communications network service providers “rip and replace” equipment in their networks made by China-based Huawei and ZTE, and other providers that the Federal government may deem as a national security threat, and thus view their network components as untrustworthy.

“For the United States to continue to lead the world in telecommunications security, it is imperative that we provide the resources needed to fully secure our communications networks as required by [Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act] STCNA,” the House members wrote in May 10 letter to House Appropriations leadership.

Congress has thus far appropriated $1.9 billion to the SCRP, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reported that $5.6 billion may be needed to help subsidize network service providers in their effort to replace objectionable equipment.

The SCRP aims to protect U.S. communications networks by prohibiting “Huawei, ZTE and other equipment from threatening America’s telecommunications networks,” and by extension protecting supply chains that interact with those networks.

Congress’ first funding of rip-and-replace legislation was signed into law by President Trump in March 2020.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.