White House statement on China bill riles GOP, doesn’t mention country

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White House statement on China bill riles GOP, doesn't mention country

Republicans blasted the White House Tuesday after it backed legislation aimed at increasing competition with China – but never once mentioned the country by name.

The Office of Management Budget didn’t use the word “China” in its two-page statement released ahead of Wednesday’s vote in the House of Representatives on the bill, which is backed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats.

The omission made it difficult to take seriously the America COMPETES Act of 2022 and its effort to take a harder economic stance against China, the top Republican on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said.

“It’s disgraceful the @WhiteHouse Statement of Administration Policy on the bill @SpeakerPelosi claims is a counter #China bill doesn’t even contain the word China,” Texas Rep. Michael McCaul tweeted. “This is proof #COMPETES is not a serious effort to combat the generational threat posed by the [Chinese Communist Party].”

Rep. August Pfluger, a Texas Republican, echoed McCaul’s statement and said he believes more needs to be done to combat adversarial actions made against the US.

“Completely unbelievable that the @WhiteHouse doesn’t even mention the word ‘China; in their letter urging passage of @SpeakerPelosi‘s COMPETES Act—a bill to supposedly counter China,” Pfluger said.

“This Administration and Democrat Congress are not serious about countering adversarial threats.”

Rep. Claudia Tenney, a New York Republican, called the statement “shameless,” taking aim at it for including progressive buzzwords while not mentioning the country that is the focus of the legislation.

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, speaks during the House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on the administration foreign policy priorities on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Michael McCaul tweeted about COMPETES, saying that it is “not a serious effort.”
AP / Ken Cedeno
Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., speaks during the House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on the administration foreign policy priorities on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Claudia Tenney also took umbrage with the statement, calling it “shameless.”
AP / Ken Cedeno

“The White House just released a Statement of Administration Policy on a bill supposedly intended to counter China, but guess what they didn’t mention once? CHINA! ‘Equity,’ ‘inclusivity,’ and ‘climate’ all make an appearance. This is shameless,” she tweeted. 

The White House’s statement touched on supply chains and authorized funding to boost domestic manufacturing.

“The legislation would complement the President’s efforts to strengthen critical domestic supply chains,” the statement said. “It would establish a new office at the Department of Commerce to monitor, analyze, and support the resilience of our supply chains and domestic manufacturing, including through authorization of new grants, loans, and loan guarantees,” it said. 

Republicans have repeatedly railed against the bill, criticizing it for cutting funding toward areas like technology and research in comparison to a bipartisan bill that already passed the Senate. 

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