By Pete Kasperowicz - 05/03/12 06:28 PM EDT
Smith did not name the official who never called him back, but added that he would try to hold another hearing next week that includes Obama administration officials.
"Next week, I will look to convene another hearing of this commission on Chen in order to take testimony from the Obama administration witnesses and to get some answers," he said.
Chen later said he wanted to be flown out of China on the same plane that carries Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonCongress steamrolls Obama's veto Trump: I saved former Miss Universe's job 'and look what I get out of it' Carson: Trump faces a debate 'learning curve' MORE, who is in China for economic meetings with Chinese officials.
Smith said there are many questions he would like to have answered, such as how any agreement by the United States to protect Chen will be enforced, and the extent to which Chinese authorities might try to recapture Chen and his family.
Another member of the commission, Rep. Frank WolfFrank Wolf10 most expensive House races Benghazi Report and Hillary: What it means for Philadelphia Lobbying World MORE (R-Va.), was also present at the hearing, and echoed Smith's call for the Obama administration to do as much as it can to protect Chen, including granting him and his family asylum.
"The Obama administration has a moral, a high moral obligation to protect Chen and his family," he said. "To do anything less would be scandalous."
"If news reports are to be believed about Chen's wishes, the administration must … grant him and his family asylum, and refuse, refuse, to apologize despite a Chinese government demand," Frank said.
"America missed an opportunity in Tiananmen," he added, referring to the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in which China's military rolled into the square and several hundred protesters are thought to have been killed. "Will this administration too fail to see the historic moment?"