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Ernst Fights to Protect National Security, Limit U.S. Debt Owned by China, Other Foreign Adversaries

The Iowa senator’s effort would limit the United States’ total amount of foreign-owned debt, which today exceeds $7.3 trillion.

WASHINGTON – As the president’s budget includes more reckless spending that will raise the debt, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is working to limit the amount of U.S. national debt owned by foreign governments, entities, and individuals. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)—which runs forced labor camps in Xinjiang, is militarizing the South China Sea, and operating the Made in China 2025 plan designed to surpass the United States in critical industries—currently owns nearly $1 trillion of U.S. national debt, roughly 12 percent.


“Let’s be clear—because we cannot control our spending at home, we have to sell our debt to the Chinese Communist Party, which is undermining our national security, threatening our partners, and committing unspeakable atrocities,” said Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It’s past time for President Biden and Congress to hit the brakes on reckless federal spending and limit the CCP’s growing leverage over the United States.”



Ernst’s bill, The National Debt is National Security Act, would require that not more than 25% of the cumulative national debt may be owned by foreign governments, entities, and individuals—and that not more than five percent of the cumulative national debt may be owned by the government, entities, and individuals of one particular nation. Senators Braun (R-Ind.), Cassidy (R-La.), and Lummis (R-Wyo.) are cosponsoring the bill.