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McCarthy unveils new GOP-led China task force

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

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Cheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency McCarthy supports Cheney remaining in leadership amid calls for her to step down 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.”

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The group — which will be led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaulMichael Thomas McCaulCheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency US ambassador to Israel Twitter account briefly includes West Bank, Gaza Biden urged to reverse Pompeo-Trump move on Houthis 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 CheneyCheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency GOP senators say only a few Republicans will vote to convict Trump For Biden, a Senate trial could aid bipartisanship around COVID relief MORE (Wyo.) and Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.), Andy BarrAndy BarrHouse Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Energy issues rule allowing companies to develop own efficiency tests for products | GOP lawmakers push back on Federal Reserve's climate risk efforts GOP lawmakers push back on Federal Reserve's climate risk efforts MORE (Ky.), John Curtis (Utah), Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherCheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency The next pandemic may be cyber — How Biden administration can stop it House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee MORE (Wis.), Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezUpton becomes first member of Congress to vote to impeach two presidents The Hill's Morning Report - Trump impeached again; now what? Kinzinger says he is 'in total peace' after impeachment vote MORE (Ohio), John JoyceJohn JoyceOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results MORE (Pa.), Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerCheney tests Trump grip on GOP post-presidency National Guard back inside Capitol after having been moved to parking garage Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated MORE (Ill.), Darin LaHoodDarin McKay LaHoodCalifornia was key factor in House GOP's 2020 success How to expand rural broadband, fast and affordably America can't afford to ignore the food service distribution industry MORE (Ill.), Guy ReschenthalerGuy ReschenthalerTapper battles GOP lawmakers over criticism of Afghan vet's Electoral College vote READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Cleaver concludes congressional prayer with 'amen and awoman' MORE (Pa.), Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanFormer Republican congressman: 'Impeachment is necessary' Outgoing GOP congressman criticizes Hawley for fundraising off Electoral College challenge Virginia county Republicans condemn GOP congressman for considering vote for Biden MORE (Va.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikLincoln Project hits Stefanik in new ad over support for Trump Wyoming county votes to censure Liz Cheney for Trump impeachment vote Stefanik knocks Albany newspaper over 'childless' characterization MORE (N.Y.), Chris StewartChris StewartREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit Atlanta Wendy's 911 call the night of Rayshard Brooks's death released 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 ScaliseBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear Scalise bringing Donna Brazile as guest to Biden inauguration House GOP lawmaker: Trump 'put all of our lives at risk' MORE (La.), with House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Inauguration Day McCarthy won't back effort to oust Cheney MORE (Ohio) and Reps. Blaine LuetkemeyerWilliam (Blaine) Blaine LuetkemeyerCommerce Bank joins companies halting support for officials who opposed Biden transition READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Top GOP lawmaker touts 'more flexible' PPP loans in bipartisan proposal MORE (Mo.), Jackie WalorskiJacqueline (Jackie) R. WalorskiLobbying world READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Lawmakers press CDC for guidance on celebrating Halloween during pandemic MORE (Ind.) and Mark GreenMark GreenREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Here are the Republicans planning to challenge the Electoral College results Republicans press FBI for briefing on efforts by Chinese government operatives to gain influence with lawmakers 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.”