ICYMI: Chair Rodgers at Punchbowl Pop-Up: “Spectrum Policy is National Security Policy”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) joined Punchbowl News’ Anna Palmer on Wednesday to discuss the future of spectrum and telecommunications during a pop-up conversation Wednesday.

Watch it here and check out excerpts and highlights of Chair Rodgers’ remarks below:

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“I believe in the need of American competitiveness. American leadership matters.

“We see a growing threat from China.

“China is making it very clear that they want to lead as an economic, a technological, as well as a military power. They want to be the dominant power. All of that is informing our efforts and only underscores the importance of an issue like spectrum.

“It’s a national security issue. It’s a competitiveness issue. We must be leading in these emerging technologies.

“If we’re going to lead in 5G, 6G, autonomous vehicles, self-driving cars, and quantum computing… we have to be smart in our spectrum allocation.

“We need to restore the role of NTIA. That is the entity that should be making these spectrum decisions.

“We worked on a bipartisan bill. Frank Pallone, the Ranking Member, [and I] worked on the bipartisan Spectrum Innovation Act... [which] passed the House.

“The decision was made in the end of year omnibus package to extend the auction authority until March 9th.

“It’s right around the corner and no one wants to see the auction authority expire, so we are going to work to reach an agreement as soon as possible to ensure that the FCC can open up new bands and that we continue to lead in the allocation of spectrum.

“It’s important that we unleash commercial spectrum which is going to be the key to our leadership in beating China.”


“Our lives are more connected than ever, and having spectrum is going to be the key to being able to unleash future technologies and innovation.


“When you look at the United States of America, our advantage has always been our ingenuity, our creativity, our technology, and spectrum allocation is foundational to making sure that America continues to lead.

“Our telecommunications, infrastructure, spectrum, all of this is foundational to us leading in competitiveness and it’s key to our national security."


“The spy balloon has certainly dominated the news... China just has very different values than we do. Surveilling the United States of America from a balloon certainly has caused a lot of concern.

“I also would highlight the concerns with TikTok and other social media platforms and the data China is using to surveil Americans.

“We need to be taking steps to make sure our data is secure, our infrastructure is secure, our telecommunication networks are secure...

“One of the provisions in the Spectrum Innovation Act was $3 billion to replace and remove Chinese equipment from our telecommunications networks.

“This is so important...China is advancing. They want to win the future by dominating in telecommunications, the roll out of 5G, 6G, spectrum.”