House Votes To Block Biden From Selling Oil Reserves To China

(Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted Thursday to ban the sale of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China.

All 218 voting Republicans and 113 Democrats supported the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act, while all 97 “no” votes came from Democrats. The legislation, introduced by Energy and Commerce Committee chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, is one of seven bills guaranteed by the House rules package to receive a vote.

“Draining our strategic reserves for political purposes and selling portions of it to China is a significant threat to our national security,” McMorris Rodgers said in a floor speech. “The administration is not just hurting our own ability to respond to emergencies and national security events, they are actively bolstering the oil reserves of our most dangerous geopolitical adversary, the Chinese Communist Party. This is unacceptable and it must stop.”

The Biden administration has sold nearly six million barrels of oil to the Chinese state oil company Sinopec since 2021. Overall, the administration sold more than 260 million barrels of oil in 2021 and 2022 in a bid to stabilize gas prices. Americans use about 20 million barrels of oil a day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Republicans have questioned whether or not Hunter Biden benefited financially from the sale, given his longtime connections to Sinopec. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Oversight Republicans Call Out Chinese Oil Sale That May Have Benefited Hunter Biden, Russia)

The House rules package, negotiated by GOP leadership and the 20 Republicans who initially withheld support from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, names seven bills and resolutions that must come up for votes during the 118th Congress. In addition to the oil sale ban, the resolution also names bills addressing illegal immigration and rising crime.

Bills cutting funding for the Internal Revenue Service and requiring doctors to provide medical care to infants born alive after botched abortions have already passed the lower chamber, but are unlikely to become law.