Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley told CNN on Thursday that the newly established bipartisan select committee investigating China will invoke “anti-Asian rhetoric and hate.”
The House voted 365-65 in favor of a resolution to establish the committee to investigate economic and technological challenges in the U.S. posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Republican Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher will chair the committee consisting of seven Republicans and nine Democrats.
“I voted no because it’s another sham effort here. It’s really clear that this is just a committee that would further embolden anti-Asian rhetoric and hate and put lives at risk,” she said. “We have enough infrastructure and governance to tackle those issues and we don’t need the select committee and that is why I voted no, because I am afraid that will embolden anti-Asian rhetoric and hate.”
All Republicans, along with 146 Democrats, voted in favor of the committee. Pressley refrained from criticizing her Democratic colleagues by saying they view it differently. (RELATED: Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher Blasts NBA, Disney For ‘Bending The Knee’ To China)
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy vowed to create this select committee before the midterm elections, The Hill reported. He said the committee will “look at every industry that China has tried to take control on” and “look at where China has been stealing our technology as well.”
Gallagher said in a Tuesday statement that the committee is a major step in standing up to the CCP’s “aggression.”
“It is time to push back against the Chinese Communist Party’s aggression in a bipartisan fashion, and today’s overwhelming bipartisan vote to create the Select Committee on the CCP is an important first step in that direction,” the committee chairman said. “The next step is to populate the committee with serious members on both sides and get to work with a sense of urgency.”
The committee will focus on bringing jobs from China to the U.S., returning supply chains and securing intellectual property, Reuters reported. The U.S. has become increasingly concerned with China’s growing aggression against Taiwan, transparency on the origins and handling of COVID-19, and the large trade deficit.
The Chinese government has also reportedly gained access to information on Americans through the app TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese-owned company ByteDance.