Waltz Bill Prevents U.S. Soldiers, Federal Employees from Inadvertently Financing China’s Military
Washington, May 25, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, U.S. Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-6) re-introduced the bipartisan TSP Act to prevent the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) from investing the federally funded Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) in Chinese companies, many of which have direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has introduced identical legislation in the U.S. Senate.
“It is absolutely crazy to propose our military and federal employees to indirectly contribute to China’s military buildup, oppression of minority groups, and ultimate goal of global takeover through retirement funds,” said Waltz. “What’s worse is that nearly all of these Americans are completely unaware of this situation.”
Every month, a combined 5.6 million U.S. military members and federal employees contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a 401K-style plan taken out of their paychecks. The TSP, which is administered by the FRTIB, is responsible for over $700 billion in assets, making it one of the world’s largest retirement funds.
In November 2017, the FRTIB selected a new index for the TSP I-Fund that includes Chinese markets. The decision was responsibly tabled by President Trump but the FRTIB maintains the ability to reassess the decision. Several companies included in the index (MSCI-ACWI ex USA) contract with the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army and provide equipment to oppress the Uighurs.
Waltz’s bill would prevent the FRTIB from investing the TSP in jurisdictions that do not allow U.S. audit inspections. The Chinese Communist Party does not allow U.S. auditors access to financial and accounting records. By eliminating the ability of the FRTIB to invest in Chinese markets, the TSP Act ensures the hard-earned retirement savings of U.S. military members and federal employees are invested responsibly – and don’t fall in the hands of the Chinese military.
“Imagine sending our brave soldiers overseas to fight against our enemies and then telling them they have been footing the bill for our adversary’s military operations,” Waltz said. “This is completely unconscionable and needs to be taken off the table.”
The bill has bipartisan support in the House with 19 cosponsors.