Sixteen satellite and aerospace industry groups wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday to urge passage of pending Senate legislation that would ease the satellite export control process by authorizing the President to transfer satellites and their components from the United States Munitions List (USML) to the less stringently-regulated Commercial Control List (CCL). Introduced in May by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), the Safeguarding United States Satellite Leadership and Security Act (S. 3211) mirrors the language of a similar measure that was appended to the National Defense Authorization Act (HR-4310) and adopted by the House in May. While facilitating export of commercial satellites under the CCL, the Senate bill would also prohibit the export of satellites and related components to China, North Korea, Cuba, Iran and other nations that are deemed to pose a security risk. In addition to the Satellite Industry Association, signers of Monday’s letter include the Aerospace Industries Association, the American Association of Exporters and Importers, the National Association of Manufacturers, TechAmerica, the National Defense Industrial Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Lamenting that “satellites remain the only category mandated by Congress for blanket treatment as military items,” the groups pleaded with Reid, McConnell and other Senate members “to help update this obsolete policy and put U.S. space leadership back on the right trajectory.” Agreeing that “our outdated export controls are undermining our nation’s ability to compete and innovate in the international marketplace,” Bennet replied: “I’m glad to see support for this bill is continuing to grow.”