Top conservative lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives are launching a legislative blitz against Democrat President Joe Biden, exposing his weakness when it comes to the threat of the Chinese Communist Party and Biden’s coziness with the Communists in Beijing.
The effort, led by Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), will consist of a messaging push as well as the introduction and rollout of a series of legislative proposals designed to curb Chinese influence and aggression and expose the Democrats and Biden for being weak on China. Banks and his team detailed the effort for Breitbart News exclusively ahead of the push, which will begin on Tuesday and carry on throughout the week. Under Banks, the RSC is planning blitzes like this on major issues frequently as a counter to Biden’s agenda pushed from the White House and by congressional Democrats.
“The Biden administration has lifted almost every single tough action the Trump administration took on China and has already demonstrated a clear pattern of going back to the tried and failed strategy of supporting China’s rise,” Banks told Breitbart News. “It’s not enough to compete with China, we must continue President Trump’s approach to confront China. The Chinese Communist Party is not a partner, it’s the greatest threat to the U.S. and worldwide freedom and prosperity, and if we fail to treat them as such, we will reap severe consequences.”
The House conservatives’ push comes on the heels of Biden’s first call last week with Chinese dictator Xi Jinping, the contents of which not much is known. But the White House did however release a readout of the call saying the two leaders discussed some concerns Biden has with “Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, the crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan” as well as the coronavirus pandemic and some other issues like “global health security” and “climate change.”
The RSC has compiled a six-page background memorandum that explains the House conservatives’ views on China and, in particular, the concerns with Biden’s approach to handling the CCP as compared with now-former President Donald Trump’s approach. The document opens by explaining the difference in philosophy and approach to China by Biden versus Trump, then details a series of executive actions Biden has already taken that empower the United States’ most ardent adversary.
On just his second day in office, Biden issued a flurry of executive orders helping the CCP. They include one that reentered the U.S. into the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) even after its efforts to cover up the Chinese origins of the coronavirus pandemic and another that allows Chinese Communists and Russians access to the U.S. power grid, undoing an order from Trump that barred them from getting into the nation’s energy supply. Five days later, Gina Raimonda, Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Commerce, refused to keep Chinese technology firm Huawei on the Department of Commerce’s Entities List, what is essentially a blacklist that prevents the company’s technology use from being authorized here. The day after that, Biden’s Treasury Department delayed until May an executive order Trump had rolled out sanctioning Chinese military companies operating in the United States. That’s all just in Biden’s first week in office. The RSC document continues for page after page, bullet point after bullet point, explaining how Biden has undermined the United States and empowered the Chinese Communist Party when it comes to his approach to Pacific Rim policy from the outset of his administration.
The RSC document also contains background information on several Biden political appointees over ties many have to the CCP. Biden officials named in the document include National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, United Nations ambassador nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the nominee for Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, as well as Raimondo and even Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and CIA Director William Burns. In other words, Biden administration CCP concerns are spread across the entire federal government in senior positions at everywhere from the White House to the CIA to the State Department to the Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security and even into the Treasury and Commerce Departments.
Banks’ team told Breitbart News that the chairman intends to counter Biden’s soft approach to China by showing that conservatives and Republicans know that China is America’s adversary, even though Biden sees China as a partner to America. Conservatives want to confront China, they said, while Biden just wants simple competition with the Chinese — something conservatives know is impossible because the Chinese do not fight fairly. Conservatives, Banks’ team said, want to contain China while Biden and the Democrats want to manage China’s rise. This week’s push by the RSC, which will continue all year and throughout the Biden administration, is designed to expose that and counter it while offering Americans who know something is wrong with China and Biden’s approach to China a different option.
The RSC’s effort to expose and counter Biden will include the introduction of at least 17 pieces of legislation from at least a dozen House Republicans to zone in on the threat of the Chinese Communist Party to America that the top conservatives in the RSC, the biggest caucus of conservatives in the House of Representatives, believes the Biden administration, at best, is not focused on or, worse, is mishandling. Many of these bills are designed to expose executive actions Biden has already taken helping China or has indicated he intends to take with regard to China, and their fate is unclear in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.
The bills include five from Banks himself, ones that would stop funding the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), place restrictions on acquisitions by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and three pieces of legislation that have prior broad support. The first, introduced in the Senate also by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), is the Online Consumer Protection Act. The second and third, both mentioned in the House GOP’s China Task Force report last year, are the Safe Career Transitions for Intelligence and National Security Professionals act and the Protect Our Universities Act.
It’s notable that Banks is following up on policies recommended by the GOP’s China Task Force from 2020. That effort was supposed to be bipartisan, led by both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, but Pelosi pulled the Democrats out of it just as the coronavirus pandemic reached American shores in early 2020. The Republicans proceeded with a minority-only task force anyway and produced recommendations for the nation to combat the rising CCP last year just before the election. Republicans ended up flipping a net 15 seats from Democrat control after their publication of the report — hardly the only reason why the GOP gained seats from Democrats, but definitely a contributing factor — beating the odds and expectations of professional political prognosticators.
Other members involved in the legislative push include Reps. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Greg Steube (R-FL), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Greg Murphy (R-NC), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Lance Gooden (R-TX), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Bob Good (R-VA), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Chip Roy (R-TX), and Debbie Lesko (R-AZ).
Jackson’s legislation would prohibit Biden from lifting sanctions that Trump levied against Chinese military companies. Steube’s bill would prohibit Biden from lifting Trump’s designation, made through the Department of Commerce, that Chinese technology firm Huawei is on the so-called “Entities List” unless it stopped being a member of the CCP and no longer threatened U.S. national security. Steube has another bill, too, that would require Chinese visa holders in the U.S. to disclose to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) any funds they receive from the CCP.
Wilson, meanwhile, is reintroducing a bill that would require transparency with regard to the Confucius Institutes.
Murphy is introducing another Confucius Institutes transparency bill as well, while Gooden’s legislation would force think tanks and nonprofits that receive more than $50,000 per year in funding from foreign governments — like China — to reveal that information publicly.
Norman’s bills include one that would ban PLA funding and another that would require sponsors of visas for foreign students and researchers to notify DHS whenever a visa holder participates in federally funded research programs and would allow for the removal of such an individual if deemed a threat by national security officials.
Duncan’s bill would stop Biden from lifting Trump’s prohibition on Chinese and Russian companies from accessing the U.S. energy grid, while Good’s bill would require an investigation and report into U.S. taxpayer money going into efforts to help China anywhere in the world.
Boebert’s bill would permanently remove the United States from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) after it has been apparently compromised by CCP influence. Trump removed the U.S. from the W.H.O. during his presidency via executive action, but Biden has reentered the organization during the first few weeks of his presidency. Boebert’s bill would, if passed and signed into law, permanently remove the U.S. from the W.H.O. after the organization’s efforts to cover the CCP’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic which originated in Wuhan, China. Roy’s bill, meanwhile, would give an award to the Wuhan doctor who uncovered coronavirus in the first place.
Lesko’s legislation would prevent CCP officials and senior CCP members from entering the United States until China stops stealing intellectual property from the U.S.