Breitbart reported Tuesday that House Republicans are pushing forward on a bill that looks to protect “American sovereignty” by allowing the president to ban foreign nationals and businesses from buying public or private land in the United States.
The bill, known as the National Security Moratorium on Foreign Purchases of U.S. Land act, was introduced in the Nancy Pelosi-led lower chamber on Wednesday.
According to Breitbart, leading the way are Reps. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Mary Miller (R-IL). In their bill, they note that foreign entities currently make up about one-third of the institutional investments for single-family rental homes in the U.S.
The result has been the enrichment of foreign entities, Breitbart reports, at the expense of Americans who would otherwise have been homeowners but have instead been turned into long-term renters.
In addition, the Republicans’ bill explains that the increase in foreign investments in U.S. real estate, particularly in urban areas, has led to a rise in gentrification, “pushing many long-time residents out of their homes, including some of our most vulnerable and poor communities.”
Among the biggest culprits is China, the legislation says. A recent report from Politico outlined how companies and individuals have been buying up farmland in the United States as the communist nation seeks to gain leverage over the U.S.
If passed, the Republicans’ bill would allow the president to place a five-year moratorium on the purchase of U.S. land by “any foreign person.”
According to Breitbart, the bill defines a “foreign person” as “any foreign national, foreign government, or foreign entity; or any entity over which control is exercised or exercisable by a foreign national, foreign government, or foreign entity.”
Also banned, Breitbart reports, would be any corporation, partnership, or other association created under the laws of a foreign country.
The bill would also require the U.S. Comptroller General to submit a report to Congress detailing the history of foreign public and private real estate purchases of U.S. land. The Comptroller General would be required to reveal how much U.S. real estate is owned by foreign persons and to advise Congress on how “to make it easier for United States citizens and harder for foreign persons to purchase real estate located in the United States, including farmland,” as Breitbart reported.
The bill also seeks to make it more difficult to obtain an EB-5 visa, which allows foreign nationals to obtain a green card upon investing in certain business ventures.
Given the current makeup of the House, it remains to be seen whether Gohmert and Miller have the support they need to get their proposal to the president’s desk for a signature.