The news of a Chinese spy balloon floating through American airspace has bolstered Republican calls to focus on national security — including from Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL), who is proposing a foreign land purchase moratorium to protect U.S. food security and stabilize housing prices.
Congresswoman Miller is set to reintroduce a bill on Monday entitled the ‘‘Saving American Farms from Adversaries Act.” The legislation would give the president power to prohibit the purchase of public or private real estate in the United States “by any foreign person,” including corporations and partnerships, for the five-year period after the enactment of the law. Breitbart News learned exclusively of the bill’s introduction on Friday, and was first to report the bill last year when Miller introduced it with now-retired Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).
“Our adversaries continue to rob our country of wealth and prosperity under Joe Biden’s weak leadership. Congress must respond to the critical economic and national security threats China poses to our nation because Joe Biden refuses to put America’s safety and best interests first,” Miller said of the bill, which will be her first of the 118th Congress.
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The bill points out that Chinese nationals have “led foreign investments in homes in the United States for the past seven years.” Miller’s bill notes that “foreign companies and individuals have purchased 853,813 acres of agricultural land” in her own state of Illinois, — purchases that are “worth approximately $6.3 billion.”
“We must put American farmers and consumers first and prevent China from buying up our farmland,” Miller told Breitbart News. “As a farmer, I know that foreign land purchases are especially an issue in rural America where the Chinese Communist Party is attempting to buy land in our country to gain strategic leverage over the United States and our food supply.”
Republicans at the state level have also been sounding the alarm on foreign land purchases, as Chinese companies continue to try to purchase land near U.S. military bases. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), North Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), and Texas GOP Gov. Greg Abbott have all said they are considering blocking China from buying American farmland. Former President Donald Trump has also made the issue part of his early 2024 presidential campaign by pitching a federal proposal to block China from buying American farmland.
According to the legislation, foreign investors now account for almost one-third of institutional investments in single-family rental homes in the United States. Breitbart News previously reported how global investors are “gobbling up” middle-class suburban homes, “enriching wealthy investors and turning would-be homeowners into lifetime, no-equity renters.”
The legislation also states that increased foreign investment in urban areas has led to a rise in gentrification. This is “pushing many long-time residents out of their homes, including some of our most vulnerable and poor communities,” according to the bill. Additionally, “roughly 47 percent of rural renters pay a third or more of their income in rent each month. The Federal government has done nothing to help rural Americans deal with the rising costs in housing.”
Miller said the “misguided effort to attract foreign investment” is “destroying the American dream for millions” and pointed to other countries that have similar laws that limit foreign land purchases.
“For example, in Macedonia foreign citizens cannot purchase agricultural land and may only lease. In Poland, foreign individuals need permission from the Ministry of International Affairs to purchase land. Mexico too has restrictions in place that put limits on foreigners’ ability to purchase land. Vast foreign land purchases of American land hurts rural and urban communities alike,” she said.
“We have an inherent responsibility to put our own citizens first, and Americans are clearly not benefiting from the current system. Again, our laws are currently designed in a way that benefits large multinational companies over everyday Americans,” she continued.
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The bill further calls for the EB-5 visa system, which allows foreign nationals to obtain green cards if they invest in specific business ventures, to be made “more stringent,” and states that the rules of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) need to be “more strict.”
The Comptroller General of the United States would be required to submit a report to Congress six months after the enactment of the bill detailing the history of foreign public and private real estate purchases located in the U.S. The comptroller general would also be required to make recommendations as to how “to make it easier for United States citizens and harder for foreign persons to purchase real estate located in the United States, including farm land,” and to provide a percentage of real estate located in the U.S. that is owned by foreign persons.
Miller ended by warning lawmakers to “take the threat of China’s provocation seriously” and called out President Joe Biden for pushing “his America Last Agenda.”
“Biden continues to push his America Last Agenda with an open southern border, continuous funding for Ukraine, Chinese-manufactured batteries, and Green New Deal policies,” Miller said.
“Our country should be united on the issue of national security because we have an inherent responsibility to put our own citizens first. America is on a dangerous path of losing our self-sufficiency in farming, and we must take the threat of China’s provocation seriously by passing the Saving American Farms from Adversaries Act,” she concluded.