House Republicans Announces New China Task Force

Paula Liu
By Paula Liu
May 7, 2020US News
House Republicans Announces New China Task Force
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy speaks at a news conference in Washington on Jan. 18, 2018. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

The House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced on Thursday during a House Minority Leader Weekly Briefing that Republicans will be launching a new China Task Force and invited Democrats to join.

During the briefing, McCarthy cited the role that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) played during the spread of the CCP virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, and said that Beijing’s failure to inform the rest of the world regarding the virus had led to a global health crisis.

“As we go through this challenge in this country of a virus that came from a faraway land, we have learned one thing about COVID. China’s cover-up directly led to this crisis,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy went on further to say that the CCP had purposefully hid the seriousness of the virus, and even went as far as to initiate a propaganda campaign to blame the United States for the virus. Furthermore, McCarthy said that the CCP “used their supplies to exert influence and continue to refuse international experts to investigate what happened.”

“It follows the same threatening pattern of behavior we have seen from the Chinese Communist Party for years, something that has long been a bipartisan consensus in Washington,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy announced that Republicans were going ahead with the task force after Democrats walked away from the initiative “without notice or reason” after months of bipartisan planning, which started before the virus was first acknowledged by Wuhan authorities. But McCarthy said he was encouraging Democrats to reconsider.

“There was one moment in time they said yes, a few months ago they said no. I’d say there was no more important time now to join with us together to work as one nation, as we face these challenges,” McCarthy said.

“We cannot wait any longer. The stakes are too high to sit idly by.”

During the briefing, McCarthy named the individuals who will be on the China Task Force committee. According to McCarthy, the committee will be led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul.

He also named House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.), Andy Barr (Ky.), John Curtis (Utah), Mike Gallagher (Wis.), Anthony Gonzalez (Ohio), John Joyce (Pa.), Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Darin LaHood (Ill.), Guy Reschenthaler (Pa.), Denver Riggleman (Va.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Chris Stewart (Utah), and Mike Waltz (Fla.) as individuals who will be members of the committee.

The role of the minority task force is to investigate China-related issues, namely, the Chinese regime’s “influence operations targeting the [United States], including our universities, think tanks and media outlets; economic threats to our government and our allies,” according to McCarthy. The task force will also be looking into gaining a technological advantage as well as gaining insight into the origin of the CCP virus.

The committee will be compiling a report to be presented in October of their investigation, with recommendations for legislation to protect the United States from such foreign interference.

During the briefing, McCarthy also named House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), with House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.), Jackie Walorski (Ind.) and Mark Green (Tenn.), as members to participate in the Democrat’s coronavirus select committee led by Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.

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