New House GOP majority eyes select committee to push back against China threat

Republicans seek bipartisan cooperation in campaigns to combat Beijing’s influence on a range of fronts, from Taiwan to Tik Tok.

By Aaron Kliegman

House Republicans are ramping up ambitious investigative and legislative plans for addressing America’s growing rivalry with China — and it may be one of the few areas where they find some support from Democrats.

"The Chinese Communist Party is our greatest generational threat and will be a top national security priority this Congress," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told Just the News on Tuesday, when Republicans officially took control of the House as a new Congress was sworn in.

McCaul, the incoming chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will be one of the leaders driving a congressional campaign to combat Chinese influence, a key piece of House Republicans’ agenda.

Part of this agenda was outlined Friday by newly minted House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), who sent his Republican colleagues a letter detailing specific legislation scheduled to be brought to the House floor over the next two weeks. The list includes a measure to establish the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, a bipartisan body to be chaired by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.).

"The greatest threat to the United States is the Chinese Communist Party," Gallagher said in a statement last month. "The CCP continues to commit genocide, obscure the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, steal hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American intellectual property, and threaten Taiwan. The Select Committee on China will push back in bipartisan fashion before it’s too late. Even in divided government, we have an opportunity to build a united front against CCP aggression."

In recent op-eds and interviews, Gallagher has laid out how the committee — and House Republicans more generally — will adopt a comprehensive approach to China encompassing a range of issues, including U.S. investments in China and U.S. dependence on China for various goods, such as pharmaceuticals and critical technology.

Another issue to be tackled by the House GOP is energy. According to Scalise’s letter, Republicans will push a bill prohibiting the secretary of energy from sending petroleum products from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China.

The Biden administration came under scrutiny this year for draining the country’s emergency oil reserves to their lowest level since 1984 in a bid to counter soaring gas prices amid a global supply shortage.

House Republicans have also said they plan to investigate how President Biden’s green energy agenda to transition from fossil fuels to renewables may benefit China.

"Since day one, President Biden has been giving China a pass," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the new chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, told Fox News Digital. "This administration knows that their radical rush-to-green agenda is making us dangerously dependent on Chinese supply chains, yet they continue to advocate for these policies. Energy and Commerce Republicans will be leading on robust oversight into how the Biden administration’s war on American energy is jeopardizing our energy and national security."

Another issue on the agenda is food, with Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) hoping to find momentum for his bill prohibiting Chinese purchases of agricultural processing facilities in the U.S.

"This is not just some sort of manufactured Boogeyman," he told the Argus Leader. "This is part of a planful and deliberate strategic strategy by the Chinese Communist Party to gain more control over the global food supply."

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