On Tuesday, in one of its first votes since Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the House overwhelmingly approved the creation of a select committee on China in an effort to counter Beijing’s growing influence.
The vote was 365 to 65 in favor of a resolution establishing the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, which will investigate the issue and make policy recommendations.
All 65 of those voting against the Committee were Democrats, many of whom said they had concerns the Republican-led panel would be too partisan.
But 146 other Democrats voted in favor, including Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing), who said she voted to create the Committee because in her estimation the Chinese Communist Party “is a threat to our national and economic security, and Congress’ response has often been disjointed and inconsistent.”
Slotkin said the Committee is an opportunity to bring together all of the resources, expertise and testimony needed to look comprehensively at the issues the United States has with the Chinese Government — from strengthening our supply chains, reducing our economic dependence on China, to deterring a military conflict with the Chinese.
“I support establishing this Committee, and hope that it focuses on substantive policy issues through bipartisan cooperation, rather than parroting political talking points or dwelling on conspiracy theories,” she said. “The Committee’s work should be done in a serious and respectful way, and demonstrate to the country that despite the partisan start to this Congress, elected leaders are still able to work together on issues of national and economic security.”
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy said he had similar concerns about the committee being used for political theater and reassured Democrats that the committee would not resort to such tactics.