McCarthy unveils new GOP-led China task force

McCarthy unveils new GOP-led China task force
© Greg Nash

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyJoining Pelosi, Hoyer says lawmakers should be free to trade stocks Budowsky: To Dems: Run against the do-nothing GOP, Senate Overnight Defense & National Security — Texas hostage situation rattles nation MORE (R-Calif.) announced on Thursday the establishment of a Republican-led task force aimed at conducting probes and making recommendations to combat threats from China.

The California Republican cited China's failure to disclose information and spread of disinformation in the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak — which he feels could have played a critical role in preventing the pandemic — arguing investigations are warranted into the country’s actions.

“We have learned more about COVID, and one thing has become very clear: China's cover-up directly led to this crisis," McCarthy told reporters. “The Communist Party of China hid the seriousness of this disease, led a propaganda campaign blaming the U.S., used their supplies to exert influence and continue to refuse international experts to investigate what happened.

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“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 he previously worked with House Democratic leadership on constructing a bipartisan panel on China, but members across the aisle opted not to move forward during the final stages. He said he welcomes Democrats to participate in the minority’s panel.

“For more than a year I have worked with the leadership of the Democratic Party to put together a bipartisan committee on China with an equal number of Republicans and an equal number of Democrats. I did get to that agreement, we got to the point to actually name the individuals, so far that one reporter has actually wrote the story, but did not post it yet, before the Democrats pulled back a few months ago. Well, we cannot wait any longer,” he told reporters.

“The stakes are too high to sit idly by, which is why today I'm announcing the Republican-led China Task Force, and I invite the Democrats to join with us. 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.”

The group — which will be led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulMcCaul says US withdrawal from Afghanistan has emboldened Russia on Ukraine Sunday shows - Voting rights legislation dominates Texas Republican: FBI probe into synagogue hostage taker spreads to London, Tel Aviv MORE (Texas) — will consist of GOP members who sit on committees that have jurisdiction over relations with China. House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyKinzinger welcomes baby boy The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket MORE (Wyo.) and Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.), Andy BarrAndy BarrOvernight Defense & National Security — White House raises new alarm over Russia GOP lawmakers press administration on US weapons left behind in Afghanistan GOP Rep. Andy Barr reports M in cash ahead of 2022 election MORE (Ky.), John Curtis (Utah), Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherAnti-Trump group targeting top Republicans on Jan. 6 anniversary Congress zooms in on cybersecurity after banner year of attacks Human rights groups sound alarm over Interpol election MORE (Wis.), Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezRedistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want Ohio state Rep. Emilia Sykes enters House race with map in limbo Clyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' MORE (Ohio), John JoyceJohn JoyceOvernight Health Care: CDC says it is safe for vaccinated people to unmask outdoors | White House: No decision yet on vaccine patent waiver | GOP doctors in Congress release video urging people to get vaccinated GOP doctors in Congress release video urging people to get vaccinated Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers MORE (Pa.), Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerKinzinger welcomes baby boy Clyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' The fates of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump MORE (Ill.), Darin LaHoodDarin McKay LaHoodFour states to feature primaries with two incumbents in 2022 GOP Rep. Mary Miller announces reelection bid with Trump endorsement GOP beginning to jockey for post-election leadership slots MORE (Ill.), Guy ReschenthalerGuy Reschenthaler2021's top political celebrity moments Dr. Oz receives first congressional endorsement Improving college affordability for National Guardsmen and reservists MORE (Pa.), Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanCheney calls out Fox over new Tucker Carlson promo House Democrats select Riggleman as Jan. 6 committee adviser Virginia Democrats seek to tie Youngkin to Trump's election claims MORE (Va.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHouse GOP campaign arm rakes in 0M in 2021 JD Vance raises more than million in second fundraising quarter for Ohio Senate bid US looks to ward off Ukraine conflict in talks with Russia MORE (N.Y.), Chris StewartChris StewartMan punched, kicked by officers settles with Georgia county Overnight Defense & National Security — Washington gathers for Colin Powell's funeral House Republican says as much as 40 percent of some intel agencies remain unvaccinated MORE (Utah) and Mike Waltz (Fla.) have also been named to the panel.

"They will be looking at a wide range of China-related issues, including influence operations targeting the U.S., including our universities, think tanks and media outlets, economic threats to our government and our allies, efforts to gain the technological advantage and role in the origin and spread of COVID-19,” McCarthy said.

The California Republican said he is also appointing GOP lawmakers to the newly established Democratic-led select committee on coronavirus despite previously having reservations.

The top Republican on the panel will be House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseSupreme Court handcuffs Biden on vaccinations House GOP campaign arm rakes in 0M in 2021 House Republicans call for oversight into Biden's 'failed' COVID-19 response MORE (La.), with House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanRand Paul cancels DirecTV subscription after it drops OAN Sunday shows preview: Democrats' struggle for voting rights bill comes to a head GOP's McCarthy has little incentive to work with Jan. 6 panel MORE (Ohio) and Reps. Blaine LuetkemeyerWilliam (Blaine) Blaine LuetkemeyerGOP election objectors rake in corporate cash Local banks know Main Street best, not the federal government Bank regulator erupts in partisan split as Democrats go rogue MORE (Mo.), Jackie WalorskiJacqueline (Jackie) R. WalorskiRep. Walorski: This Christmas, here's the playbook to tackle hunger Bottom line GOP beginning to jockey for post-election leadership slots MORE (Ind.) and Mark GreenMark GreenThe US is on the sidelines of a historic transformation in the Middle East Nearshoring: Panacea, quick fix or something in between? Cities become pawns in redistricting game MORE (Tenn.) also being selected to sit on the committee.

House GOP lawmakers have been highly critical of Democrats’ decision to establish the panel, arguing it is redundant due to the other watchdog mechanisms in place and politically motivated.

"Unlike those who think this committee or this virus is designed to restructure government, the individuals we appointed have one goal in mind: truth and transparency,” McCarthy said.

“Despite the Democrats’ intentions, I know these members will honorably serve the American people in making sure this does not turn into another baseless partisan pursuit.”