Republican senators are sounding the alarm over the Biden administration’s apparent failure to follow requirements of the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act.
The law is part of the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law on Dec. 23.
Among other things, the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act requires Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to submit reports on Taiwan policy to a number of congressional committees, including the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, the House Appropriations Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
“Both the House and the Senate have made repeated requests for the U.S. plan to arm Taiwan,” Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “Though much of the analytical work has been completed, the administration has refused to make it available.”
“This is another failure of the Biden administration, which could have severe consequences for the United States’ ability to deter China,” said Wicker, ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Blinken and Austin were responsible for submitting two reports to the relevant congressional committees due on March 1—an annual spending plan for funds the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act authorized for the Asian island nation and an analysis on why U.S. weapons sales for Taiwan have faced severe, yearslong delays.
Committee aides told The Daily Signal that they still haven’t received the first, and that the second is deficient and needs to be updated to comply with the law’s requirements.
“The administration is failing to align its rhetoric with action when it comes to Taiwan,” Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement, adding:
The urgency and scale of the threat posed by China requires development of a comprehensive security plan that includes both equipment and training, and leverages all available authorities to bolster Taiwan’s defenses.
Blinken, Austin, and Haines are also responsible for another report that was due to the relevant congressional committees in both houses on April 22 relating to an “Assessment of Taiwan’s needs for civilian defense and resilience.” That report also was not delivered, according to sources familiar with the matter.
“The administration must follow all requirements under the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “As China’s aggression grows, it is vital that we strengthen our efforts to deter the Chinese from forcefully annexing Taiwan.”
The Daily Signal asked the State Department, the Defense Department, and the director of national intelligence about the overdue reports and whether they have communicated with the appropriate congressional committees about their noncompliance.
The Daily Signal also asked the agencies whether they anticipate submitting future reports on time, and when they will implement the provisions of the bill that don’t have specific deadlines attached.
“The requirements Congress laid out in [the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act] are a clear indicator of whether State, the Pentagon, and our national security bureaucracy writ large is prioritizing the Indo-Pacific,” Bryan Burack, a senior policy adviser focusing on China and the Indo-Pacific at The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, told The Daily Signal in a written statement. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
“If this administration wants anyone to believe that they’re doing their job to mitigate the China threat, they need to stop breaking the law,” Burack said.
The White House did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment. The Defense Department told The Daily Signal to reach out to the State Department.
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