Across party lines, lawmakers overwhelmingly voted Tuesday in favor of creating a new select committee that will focus on investigating and countering the threat of the Chinese Communist Party.
The resolution aimed at creating the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party—also known as the Select Committee on China—passed 365 to 65. Republicans control the House of Representatives with 222 members, while Democrats hold 212 seats.
“It is time to push back against the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression in bipartisan fashion, and today’s overwhelming bipartisan vote to create the Select Committee on the CCP is an important first step in that direction,” Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., who in December was tapped to be the committee’s chairman, said Tuesday after the vote.
“The next step is to populate the committee with serious members on both sides and get to work with a sense of urgency,” Gallagher added. “I thank [House Speaker Kevin McCarthy] for the opportunity to lead this committee and for laying out a compelling vision for how we can defend American interests and American sovereignty.”
Specifically, the committee will “investigate and submit policy recommendations on the status of the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological, and security progress and its competition with the United States” and “may, at its discretion, hold public hearings in connection with any aspect of its investigative functions.”
“One of the greatest worries about the future is that we fall behind Communist China. The fact of the matter is, the danger posed by our dependence on China is dire,” McCarthy, R-Calif., said on the House floor on Tuesday ahead of the vote. “We spent decades passing policies that welcomed China into the global system. In return, China has exported oppression, aggression, and anti-Americanism.”
“Today, the power of its military and economy are growing at the expense of freedom and democracy worldwide. It didn’t start under this administration, but the current administration has clearly made it worse. Their policies [have] weakened our economy and made us more vulnerable to the threats of the CCP,” McCarthy said. “But here’s the good news. There is bipartisan consensus that the era of trusting Communist China is over.”
McCarthy, who vowed to create the committee in the 118th Congress, said the idea for the Select Committee on China was formed while he was on a congressional delegation to Normandy, France, when they were “celebrating the 75th anniversary of D-Day” in 2019.
McCarthy also emphasized the committee would be a bipartisan effort.
“You have my word and my commitment: This is not a partisan committee. This will be a bipartisan committee that is my hope, my desire, my wish that we speak with one voice, that we focus on the challenges that we have,” McCarthy said.
Michael Cunningham, a research fellow focusing on China in The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, weighed in on the establishment of the committee, which he said was “frankly long overdue.” (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of Heritage.)
“The establishment of the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party is a very welcome, and frankly long overdue, development,” Cunningham said in an emailed statement to The Daily Signal. “This new committee reflects a growing awareness in Congress of the severity of the threat the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) poses to the United States.”
Confronting the CCP will require a whole-of-government approach and a much more focused and proactive effort from Congress. Of course, the devil is in the details.
In the years ahead, we will be looking to the Select Committee to develop robust and actionable policy solutions to keep America safe, secure, and prosperous, and diminish the capacity of the CCP to do harm to the American people, the U.S. homeland, and our allies and interests abroad.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., chairwoman of the House GOP Conference, tweeted about the committee on Monday.
“Accountability for China is coming. The China Select Committee will make sure of it,” Stefanik said. “House Republicans will investigate and work to END the Chinese Communist Party’s malign influence.”
Rep. Jared Moskowitz of Florida, one of 146 Democrats who supported the resolution, told The Hill prior to the vote that he would be voting in favor of it.
“In Florida, I saw firsthand the dire impact that our reliance on [personal protective equipment] and medical equipment from the CCP had on the safety and health of Floridians and the American people. We should never again be dependent on other countries in order to protect American citizens,” Moskowitz said. “We have made progress since those days, but we need to find smart, strategic ways to improve our supply chain and establish a competitive edge against the CCP.”
“It is my hope and vision that the select committee stays clear of partisanship and submits policy recommendations that will strengthen our edge over the CCP,” Moskowitz also said. “There are clear bipartisan steps we can take to make America more competitive.”
The White House did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.
This is a breaking story and may be updated.
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.