Days after the House passed a defense authorization bill that includes an export control reform provision, a Colorado senator has introduced similar legislation in the Senate. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) announced Tuesday that he introduced the “Safeguarding United States Leadership and Security Act of 2012″ to provide for export control reform. The text of the bill, S. 3211, hasn’t been posted yet, but the release indicates the bill’s language is similar to what was included in the House: giving the President the authority to move satellites and related components off the US Munitions List (USML), but prohibiting the export of such items to China, Iran, and several other nations.
“The report released by the Administration highlights how our outdated export controls undermine our nation’s ability to compete and innovate in the international marketplace,” Bennet said in the release, referring to the so-called “Section 1248″ report issued by the Defense Department last month that found that most satellites and their components could be moved off the USML without jeopardizing national security. “This bill will ensure that our nation’s export controls will treat satellites and their components in a manner that is consistent with other items that serve both a military and a commercial purpose.”
The legislation has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with no timetable for its consideration. It’s possible that, like in the House, the provision will be incorporated into a larger bill: the Senate Armed Forces Committee is working this week on the markup for its version of the defense authorization bill for later consideration by the full Senate.