The Republican Study Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives is launching a legislative attack on President Joe Biden to expose his weakness in the face of threats posed by the United States’ greatest rival, China, and to take the president to task for his close ties with communists in Beijing.
The conservative caucus, chaired by Rep. Jim Banks, will push strong messaging and roll out a series of legislative proposals designed to curb Chinese influence and aggression, and expose their Democratic counterparts for being weak on China.
Speaking to Breitbart News, Banks said that the push would begin on Tuesday and carry on throughout the week. The RSC is reportedly planning to assail the Biden administration on major issues and counter its agenda as well as that being pushed 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 said.
“It’s not enough to compete with China, we must continue President Trump’s approach to confront China,” he added. “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 Republican push follows Biden’s first call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, in which he wished the Chinese President a happy new year. Not too many details about the conversation have been divulged by the White House.
According to the White House, the leaders discussed “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.” They also reportedly discussed “global health security” and “climate change.”
The White House did not reveal the outcome of the conversation between Biden and Xi apart from the topics.
According to Breitbart, the RSC compiled a six-page background memorandum that explains the conservatives’ views on China and their concerns with Biden’s approach to handling Xi, compared to former president Donald Trump’s approach. The document explains the difference in philosophy and approach to China by Biden versus Trump and how Biden’s executive orders have already empowered China.
The document also goes into detail about several Biden political appointees whose ties to the Chinese Communist Party have since been disclosed by journalists covering the administration. 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, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and CIA Director William Burns, Breitbart reports.
Banks’ team says that the Republicans intended to counter the president’s soft approach to China and that conservatives and Republicans understand the threat that China poses, even as Biden regards China as a partner rather than an adversary. According to Banks’ team, Republicans want to contain China, while Democrats want to manage China’s rise.
The messaging push from the Republicans will continue this year and throughout the Biden administration and will constantly take the Democrats to task for every failure in their approach with the world’s second-largest economy.
In addition to the document provided to Breitbart, the RSC intends to introduce at least 17 pieces of legislation from at least a dozen House Republicans to emphasize the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses to the U.S.
The bills are designed to expose actions Biden has already taken as helping China. However, 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.
Other bills will take aim at the Confucius Institutes and education-based immigration from Chinese nationals. Another bill takes aim at prohibiting Chinese companies from accessing the U.S. energy grid. A bill by Rep. Lauren Boebert calls for the permanent removal of the United States from the World Health Organization, following increasing evidence that the organization is heavily influenced by the Chinese government.