Federal Board Nominees Flag China Investments as ‘Unfitting’ (1)

(Adds Rubio comment in sixth paragraph.)

Bloomberg Government subscribers get the stories like this first. Act now and gain unlimited access to everything you need to know. Learn more.

The Biden administration’s nominees to oversee federal retirement plans eased some Republican concerns Thursday by committing to steer clear of investments in Chinese securities.

“We agree it is unfitting for Americans to invest in companies from China or elsewhere that undermine U.S. national security,” Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board nominees wrote in a letter obtained by Bloomberg Government.

The board administers the Thrift Savings Plan used by millions of federal workers and members of the military. US lawmakers have increasingly raised concerns about exposure to certain foreign investments, especially in Chinese and Russian companies.

The letter was addressed to Republican Sens. Tommy Tuberville (Ala.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), and Tom Cotton (Ark.), who have all raised concerns about exposure to Chinese investments. Tuberville and Rubio, in response to the letter, agreed to lift a procedural hold that prevented the nominations from moving swiftly through the Senate.

“Investing in Chinese companies is a financial risk to Americans that also undermines our national security,” Tuberville said in a statement. “I am glad to hear that President Biden’s nominees to the FRTIB agree.”

Rubio said it was “encouraging that these nominees understand their fiduciary duties.”

The nominees are Dana Bilyeu, Leona Bridges, Mike Gerber, and Stacie Olivares. Bilyeu is already serving on the board and has been nominated for another term.

Earlier: Republican Questions Russian, Chinese Exposure of Public Funds

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee earlier this year advanced four nominees to the board.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen M. Gilmer in Washington at egilmer@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anna Yukhananov at ayukhananov@bloombergindustry.com; Robin Meszoly at rmeszoly@bgov.com

Stay informed with more news like this – from the largest team of reporters on Capitol Hill – subscribe to Bloomberg Government today. Learn more.