House GOP tackles China, weaponization of US government in day 2 of legislative action

House Republicans on Tuesday will take the first step in the new Congress toward boosting oversight of both the Chinese government and the Biden administration.

China is widely viewed as America’s most immediate threat economically, militarily and strategically. China’s grip on the global supply chain and strategic resources has been growing for years, and China has been making major acquisitions around the world that experts say enhance both its economic prowess and its military capability.

On Tuesday, Republicans will call up a resolution from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy establishing the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and China. 

The committee’s mission will be to ‘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.’

The resolution asks the committee to submit policy recommendation to the Congress by the end of 2023 and to release a full report on its findings by the end of 2024.

Republicans say a focus on China is a critical component of shoring up U.S. national security. In his acceptance speech early Saturday morning, McCarthy, R-Calif., said focusing on China would give U.S. workers a chance to compete with a country that has become a manufacturing powerhouse over the last few decades.

‘As for the Chinese Communist Party, we will create a bipartisan Select Committee on China to investigate how to bring back hundreds of thousands of jobs that went to China and win the economic competition,’ he said.

While that resolution is aimed at protecting Americans’ security from the Chinese government, a second resolution up on Tuesday is aimed at protecting Americans from their own government.

The resolution would create a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government under the House Judiciary Committee. This subcommittee is directed to fully investigate the Biden administration’s efforts to ‘collect information on or otherwise investigate citizens of the United States,’ examine how federal agencies collect or work with the private sector to collect information on U.S. citizens, and probe other issues ‘related to the violation of the civil liberties’ of U.S. citizens.

This resolution, from Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, is what McCarthy said is part of the GOP’s mission to ‘hold the Swamp accountable,’ and will look closely at the ‘weaponization of the FBI’ over the past few years. Republicans have said there is a double standard in that agency that is aimed squarely at Republicans.

Jordan is expected to chair the subcommittee, and its formation comes just weeks after new Twitter owner Elon Musk has released evidence showing that Twitter worked closely with the FBI, which would often request the platform to suspend people who were tweeting opinions that ran counter to those put forward by the Biden administration.

Both resolutions are expected to get a vote on the House floor Tuesday afternoon, and both are expected to pass in a narrow party-line vote that reflects the GOP’s slim House majority. 

On Monday, the House approved a set of rules governing how the House runs, which only one Republican opposed, and also passed a bill rescinding $72 billion in funding for the IRS, which every Republican supported.

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