H.R. 1501 would prevent the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from operating or procuring an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that is manufactured in or by a business entity headquartered in a foreign country that poses a threat to national security. The prohibition would also apply to software systems associated with UAS that store data or use a network located in such a country. The bill would allow DHS to waive the prohibition on a case-by-case basis upon notification to the Congress. H.R. 1501 also would require DHS to report to the Congress on the number of UAS subject to the prohibition currently operated by DHS and the threats they pose to national security.
DHS’s current operations and policy are largely consistent with the bill’s requirements and CBO estimates that any changes required under the bill would not require substantial action by the department. On that basis and the cost of similar reporting requirements, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1501 would cost less than $500,000 over the 2024-2028 period. Any spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.