Hillicon Valley: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security | Biden says China must play by 'international norms' | House Democrats use Markup app for leadership contest voting

Hillicon Valley: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security | Biden says China must play by 'international norms' | House Democrats use Markup app for leadership contest voting
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NATIONAL SECURITY WARNINGS: The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee on Friday warned of Chinese national security threats due to Chinese government efforts to “exert its global dominance.”

The joint statement from Acting Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court upholds ruling invalidating Dakota Access, but doesn't shut down pipeline | Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency | Biden seeks to bolster consultation with Indian Country The Memo: Chances recede of GOP breaking with Trump Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency MORE (R-Fla.) and Vice Chairman Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerModerates vow to 'be a force' under Biden The next pandemic may be cyber — How Biden administration can stop it Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief MORE (D-Va.) came a day after Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeSenate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official Biden intelligence chief pledges to keep politics out of job House panels open review of Capitol riot MORE penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal describing China as the “greatest threat” to the U.S. since World War II.

The senators' remarks also came a day after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffLobbying from the center Glenn Greenwald warns against media censorship amid concerns over domestic terrorism Biden to keep Wray as FBI director MORE (D-Calif.) put out a similarly strong statement warning of Chinese threats.

“We agree with DNI Ratcliffe that China poses the greatest national security threat to the United States,” Rubio and Warner said. “Our intelligence is clear: the Chinese Communist Party will stop at nothing to exert its global dominance. Beijing’s infiltration of U.S. society has been deliberate and insidious as they use every instrument of influence available to accelerate their rise at America’s expense.”

The committee leaders accused China of threatening U.S. “democratic values” through the Chinese Communist Party’s alleged targeting of “our free speech, politics, technology, economy, military, and even our drive to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.”

They said the U.S. must stand its ground in the face of threats against allies.

Read more here.



BIDEN WEIGHS IN: President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Should deficits matter any more? Biden's Cabinet gradually confirmed by Senate MORE said on Thursday that China must play by “international norms” when speaking about possible retaliatory action against the country for mishandling the coronavirus pandemic when it first broke out.

During Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSen. Patrick Leahy returns home after being hospitalized What the shift in Senate control means for marijuana policy reform Vice President Harris receives second dose of COVID-19 vaccine MORE's first joint interview since wining the election, CNN host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOfficials brace for second Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Durbin says he won't whip votes for Trump's second impeachment trial MORE asked the pair if China should be “punished” for mishandling and hiding information on the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in Wuhan. Biden has said that he will not immediately lift the tariffs on China that President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' MORE put in place.

“The president's approach to China has been backwards,” said Biden. “I met with [President] Xi [Jinping] more times than anybody had up until the time we left office that I’m aware of.”

Biden said his goal would be to make it “real clear to China there are international rules that if you want to play by, we'll play with you. If you don't, we're not going to play.”

“It's not about punishing them for COVID virus; it's about insisting that there be international norms that are established that they play by,” Biden said.

Biden said that he would insist on stopping the theft of national secrets and “artificial intelligence capacity.” He added that the requirement on tech companies to have 51 percent of their partners be Chinese in order to conduct business in the country was “not going to happen in our administration.”

Harris appeared to be more reluctant to make any definite statements.

Read more here.


VOTE BY APP: House Democrats used an app called Markup ERVS to cast votes in the caucus’ first-ever virtual leadership elections, a spokesperson for House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Hakeem JeffriesHakeem Sekou JeffriesCapitol Police tribute turns political US Chamber of Commerce to stop supporting some lawmakers following the Capitol riots Lawmakers mount pressure on Trump to leave office MORE (D-N.Y.) confirmed Friday. 

Democrats had previously disclosed they would be using an app to cast votes virtually during the coronavirus pandemic but had not revealed the name of the app they chose. 

“In order to ensure we could organize our Caucus safely amid the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, House Democrats conducted the first-ever virtual elections for its leadership team and committee chairs using Markup’s ERVS secure voting app on House issued phones,” Jeffries said in a statement. 

“The technology has been incredibly well-received by the Members and we are ready to continue our fight For The People in the next Congress,” Jeffries added. 


Markup ERVS is a “secure electronic remote voting system” that enables elected officials to record their votes, according to an app store description. Reuters first reported details about the app Democrats used on Friday. 

Markup, a D.C.-based company, launched its remote voting product in March, as the coronavirus pandemic posed increasing issues around gathering in person. 

The Democrats used the secure voting system to cast preferences for assistant Speaker, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chair and chairs of various major committees, according to Markup. Democrats nominated Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiEverytown urges Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to resign over newly uncovered remarks Sen. Patrick Leahy returns home after being hospitalized Marjorie Taylor Greene expressed support on Facebook for violence against Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) to remain atop the party in a voice vote, which was also conducted remotely. 

Read more here.


ICYMI — CYBER CZAR INCOMING: The defense policy bill Congress plans to pass this month now includes language that would create a national cyber director at the White House, Rep. Jim LangevinJames (Jim) R. LangevinThe next pandemic may be cyber — How Biden administration can stop it Hillicon Valley: Parler sues Amazon, asks court to reinstate platform | Twitter stock falls after Trump ban | Facebook pauses political spending in wake of Capitol attack Cyber czar to draw on new powers from defense bill MORE (D-R.I.) confirmed to The Hill on Thursday.

The cyber czar would be responsible for coordinating federal cybersecurity priorities and would be a Senate-confirmed post.


The provision creating the top post is part of the conference report consolidating the House and Senate versions of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Language establishing the position was included in the House-passed version of the NDAA, but the version approved by the Senate only included a clause requiring an “independent assessment” of the “feasibility” of establishing the role.

With its inclusion in the conference report, which is set to be rolled out Thursday, the provision will almost certainly be included in the measure sent to President Trump for his signature after it's passed by Congress.

Langevin, who introduced standalone legislation to create the position earlier this year, credited inclusion of the provision to strong bipartisan support for creating the post.

Read more here. 

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