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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 McCarthySunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as White House continues to push vaccination effort Trump spokesman says defeating Cheney a top priority Gaetz, Greene tout push to oust Cheney: 'Maybe we're the leaders' 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 McCaulSenate Intelligence panel working on legislation around mandatory cyber breach notification McCarthy unveils House GOP task forces, chairs Republican, Democratic lawmakers urge fully funding US assistance to Israel 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 CheneyTrump spokesman says defeating Cheney a top priority Gaetz, Greene tout push to oust Cheney: 'Maybe we're the leaders' GOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories MORE (Wyo.) and Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.), Andy BarrAndy BarrGOP lawmakers ask acting inspector general to investigate John Kerry Overnight Energy: Biden will aim to cut US emissions in half by 2030 | Oil and gas leasing pause on public lands will last at least through June Fed to form committee focused on climate risks to financial system MORE (Ky.), John Curtis (Utah), Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherLawmakers push for increased cybersecurity funds in annual appropriations Hillicon Valley: New cyber budget request | Apple rolls out anticipated privacy update | And gets a new antitrust challenge Lawmakers call for increasing the budget of key federal cybersecurity agency MORE (Wis.), Anthony GonzalezAnthony GonzalezOhio GOP censures Republican lawmaker over Trump Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women Cheney slams Trump on 'big lie' over election 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 KinzingerSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as White House continues to push vaccination effort The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Florida's restrictive voting bill signed into law Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women MORE (Ill.), Darin LaHoodDarin McKay LaHoodTo encourage innovation, Congress should pass two bills protecting important R&D tax provision GOP leader to try to force Swalwell off panel Rahm Emanuel predicts Trump will seek retribution against GOP opponents, won't run for reelection MORE (Ill.), Guy ReschenthalerGuy ReschenthalerGOP lawmakers voice frustrations with McCarthy Tapper battles GOP lawmakers over criticism of Afghan vet's Electoral College vote READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results MORE (Pa.), Denver RigglemanDenver RigglemanVirginia GOP candidates for governor gear up for convention Republicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' Former GOP lawmaker calls idea of 'America First' caucus 'racism in a jar' MORE (Va.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikTrump spokesman says defeating Cheney a top priority Gaetz, Greene tout push to oust Cheney: 'Maybe we're the leaders' National Review editors defend Cheney from party attacks MORE (N.Y.), Chris StewartChris StewartEPA administrator: We don't plan to return 'verbatim' to Obama-era water regulation On management of Utah public lands, Biden should pursue an accountable legislative process Georgia AG rejects prosecutor's request for Rayshard Brooks case to be reassigned 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 ScaliseTrump spokesman says defeating Cheney a top priority Gaetz, Greene tout push to oust Cheney: 'Maybe we're the leaders' Cheney GOP conference deputy has complained about 'coronation' of Stefanik: report MORE (La.), with House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanJordan says 'votes are there' to oust Cheney from GOP leadership Republicans float support for antitrust reform after Trump Facebook ban upheld Facebook board decision on Trump ban pleases no one MORE (Ohio) and Reps. Blaine LuetkemeyerWilliam (Blaine) Blaine LuetkemeyerWall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study Bipartisan House members reach deal to extend loan program for small businesses Financial regulators home in on climate risks MORE (Mo.), Jackie WalorskiJacqueline (Jackie) R. WalorskiLoyalty trumps policy in Stefanik's rise, Cheney's fall Trump backs Stefanik to replace Cheney The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - House GOP drama intensifies; BIden sets new vax goal MORE (Ind.) and Mark GreenMark GreenMy Constitutional amendment to stop the Democrats' 'bonehead idea' On The Money: COVID-19 relief bill on track for House passage, Biden signature Wednesday | First new checks to go out starting next week GOP lawmaker renews push for balanced budget amendment 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.”