Sep 30, 2020
GOP Leaders on China Task Force Press Conference Transcript September 30
GOP Leaders held a press conference on September 30 to unveil the report from the China Task Force. Read the transcript of the news briefing here.
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Kevin McCarthy: (00:00)
Thank you all for coming. First, I want to begin by commending the task force for its incredible work, and I want to thank chairman Michael McCaul on his leadership. One of the most pressing issues that America has for the next century. Back in May, every member on this task force set out to draft a comprehensive blueprint that would serve as a guide to address the China threat. Today, they have delivered. Americans increasingly recognize the danger posed by our dependence on the communist China and its significant threat. One of the effects of all of us that transcends partisan politics.
Kevin McCarthy: (00:42)
As many of you know, I asked more than a year ago Speaker Pelosi to do a bipartisan task force. For eight months, I negotiated with the democratic leadership, and they agreed to it. But just the night before it was to be announced, they backed away. Long before COVID, but this is too important. This is not about partisanship. And one of my greatest pride in the China Task Force, more than 60% of all the ideas in here are bipartisan.
Kevin McCarthy: (01:18)
The way the process worked through, the more than a hundred individuals to come to brief, from President Obama’s DHS Secretary Jay Johnson, to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, it truly achieved something no Congress in history has done before. It is not only the most thorough report on China in the history of the House, it’s bold, achievable, and bipartisan. It doesn’t just lay out the challenges. It lays out the solutions in legislative reform. One-third of these solutions have already either passed the House or the Senate. We need to make them become law. When you think of the future of this nation, and you want to make sure that the next century is the American century, this will be the blueprint people look back on a decade from now as the path to make that happen.
Kevin McCarthy: (02:19)
Three major items, I would say, in this report, if you want to take a short drift through, one would be COVID has woken up America to our supply chain problem, not just in medical, but from critical minerals and on. Secondly, we need to innovate the DOD. You think of hypersonics, AI and others. We cannot sit back and just think the rise of China will not affect us. And thirdly, we need to modernize our government. When you look at the Department of Treasury, they have a team that can focus for sanctions when it comes to North Korea or Iran, but they do not have a team that focuses on China. I think these recommendations are one that not only in the House, but in the Senate, all of America can get behind, because it focuses on making sure that America continues to stay ahead of the rest of the world. With that, I want to yield to our whip, Steve Scalise.
Steve Scalise: (03:30)
Thank you, Kevin, and I really want to thank the China Task Force for the incredible work that they did to get the facts out. Chairman McCaul and all of these members you see here that worked incredibly hard to go find the facts about what China did, the role that they played in this pandemic, the coverups, lying to the world.
Steve Scalise: (03:53)
When you look at the damage that was done, I remember being in meetings in the White House back in January, where Dr. Fauci and other members of President Trump’s team wanted to go in. Our top scientists wanted to go to Wuhan to find out what was really going on. Their scientists wanted us to go to China. They wanted us to come in to help them figure out what was going on with this virus, and it was the Chinese Communist Party who stepped in and said, “No, we’re not going to let anybody in.” They corrupted the World Health Organization to the point where WHO was saying it wasn’t spread from human to human. We could have had invaluable, invaluable knowledge about what was going on to save American lives. Lives all around the world would have been saved if China was just honest with everybody else, but they weren’t.
Steve Scalise: (04:42)
And so it’s critical that we hold China accountable. It’s critical that we get the facts, and that’s what the China Task Force did. One, got the facts so that the rest of the world could see what really happened. Why Speaker Pelosi pulled back and would not be a part of this task force is an important question I think ought to be asked, to her. Why won’t Speaker Pelosi hold China accountable? Well, while they won’t, our Leader Kevin McCarthy said, “We, as Republicans, will hold China accountable.” We all ought to have the facts. The American people want to know what happened.
Steve Scalise: (05:20)
As we’re working to combat this, fortunately, President Trump moved forward with things like Operation Warp Speed, where he’s getting red tape out of the way so the scientists could go find a vaccine. Just last week, it was announced now the fourth American company, Johnson & Johnson, is on the list to actually get a vaccine in the final stage of the FDA approval process. And hopefully in the weeks ahead, we get one or more vaccines that actually will help people to prevent them from getting COVID-19, but we still need to hold China accountable, and that’s what was done here.
Steve Scalise: (05:54)
One final thing I want to bring up is on the House floor this week. It’s disappointing that Speaker Pelosi won’t work with House Republicans to get a relief package that helps families and small businesses. This newest Heroes Act 2.0 is no better than the last bill that failed the American people, and Speaker Pelosi’s bill that she’s going to bring up to the floor maybe today, it’s not a bipartisan bill, first of all. It was a very hyperpartisan bill. Billions of dollars of taxpayer money go to people here illegally, but what did Speaker Pelosi cut out from the first Heroes Act? She took out $600 million to police. She cut cops. She defunded police, compared to Heroes one, by the tune of $600 million, yet she gives billions of dollars to people here illegally. All of the things that you look at in this bill, it’s not a bipartisan bill. In fact, it only sets us back further.
Steve Scalise: (06:47)
Steve Chabot, Congressman from Ohio, has a really good bill that is very bipartisan that will help small businesses, take in the $138 billion remaining in the paycheck protection program, letting our small businesses who are struggling go for a second round of funding that would be forgivable, so that those small businesses that are dying on the vine will get a lifeline. Jamie Herrera Beutler has a discharge petition to bring that bill to the floor. If it came to the floor today, it would pass with over 400 votes, but Speaker Pelosi won’t bring that bill to the floor. We are now seeing Democrats, 23 Democrats signed onto a letter a few days ago to the Speaker saying, “Bring a bipartisan bill to the floor.” Heroes is not. Steve Chabot’s bill is. Let’s help our small businesses before we go home, so that they can stay afloat, so that they can keep those jobs for millions of families who are struggling right now, who can get back on their feet.
Steve Scalise: (07:39)
With that, I’ll turn it over to our conference chair, who also is a member of this China Task Force, Liz Cheney.
Liz Cheney: (07:46)
Thank you, Steve. Thank you very much, Whip Scalise, and I want to join in thanking our Leader, Kevin McCarthy, in putting this task force together, and the Leader of the task force, Chairman McCaul, in leading us, the staff who helped us make sure that in such a timely fashion, we were able to put together a report that touches on every aspect of the threat this nation faces with respect to China. At a moment where we are facing, I think, what is a generational threat, it is too bad that the Democrats refused to join us on this report. As the Leader said, two-thirds of the recommendations in here are bi-partisan, and in order for us to defeat the threat from China, we’ve got to work in a bipartisan fashion. So we call on Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats once again to stop putting their personal political interest ahead of the interest of the security this country, and join us in helping to put in place some of these recommendations.
Liz Cheney: (08:42)
I want to say just a few words specifically about the defense portion of this report. China is rapidly developing a military force that is capable of winning regional conflicts, and they’re expanding their military footprint globally. China, the government of China and the Chinese Communist Party have gone to school on the United States. They’ve looked at our capabilities. They’ve looked at the particular assets that we have that enable us to project our power, that enable us to make sure that we maintain our military supremacy, and they have developed capabilities to counter those. In particular, this report points out the importance of sufficient continued funding for our defense department. We have heard repeatedly from the military leadership and the civilian leadership of the department over the course of many years that we must have 3% to 5% annual real growth increases in the defense budget in order to maintain our supremacy. And that was pre-COVID. It’s crucially important that we continue that resource funding.
Liz Cheney: (09:44)
We must modernize our nuclear triad. It’s crucial to deterring the Chinese Communist Party, and we must also develop and field conventional capabilities that are critical to countering the Chinese Communist Party in the Indo-Pacific in particular this includes ground launched cruise and ballistic missiles. The People’s Republic of China is now the leading theater range missile power with both dual and conventional nuclear delivery capabilities. We must counter that. We must modernize our sea and air power. We must procure long range precision fires and strategic fires. We have to build contested logistics capabilities, and we’ve got to develop new operational concepts, joint operational concepts that allow us to counter the threat, that allow us to truly do what’s necessary to defend this country. Congress must fund military construction, pre-positioning, strategic airlift, tanker support, and surge capacity. And we must counter the Chinese Communist Party globally, as it seeks to establish more robust logistics and basing infrastructure around the world, as it seeks to project its own military power.
Liz Cheney: (10:57)
In conclusion, it is very important for everyone to know that we are in the midst of a battle between freedom and totalitarianism. The question we all face is whether the United States and our allies will set the rules of the road into the future, or whether the Chinese Communist Party and that authoritarian totalitarian regime will set the rules of the road. The proposals that we have offered in this report recognize the gravity and the significance of this moment that we face. And if followed, these proposals will help ensure that freedom and the US-led global order prevail.
Liz Cheney: (11:34)
With that, I would like to turn things over to the chairman of our task force, Mr. McCaul.
Michael McCaul: (11:40)
Thank you, Liz. Thanks for your contribution to the task force. I also want to thank Leader McCarthy for standing up the task force, having the vision to deal with the threat that we face today as a nation. It’s truly been an honor. As the Leader said, this was supposed to be bipartisan. This was a policy-
Michael McCaul: (12:03)
This was supposed to be bi-partisan. This was a policy exercise, not a political one, and this report will shape our foreign policy towards China for years to come. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, this is an American issue first and foremost, and I want to thank all the China task force members standing up here today. From 11 committees of jurisdiction, working together cross jurisdictionally, it’s never an easy thing to do in Congress, but we brought it together and we came up with 400 recommendations, nearly 200 legislative recommendations, and two thirds of those bipartisan, all in this final report that I have here today.
Michael McCaul: (12:51)
This isn’t the first time in my career that I’ve experienced espionage from the Chinese Communist Party. In 1996, when I was a young federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice Public Integrity Section, there were reports coming in that China was trying to influence our elections. Sound familiar? And I was assigned to the campaign task force and prosecuted the Johnny Chung case. He pled guilty and then he started cooperating, in what was probably the most fascinating prosecution that a young guy at that time could have had. And that’s because the investigation revealed the fact that China Aerospace and the Director of Chinese intelligence conspired to obtain military technology and satellites from the United States. Long story short, the PRC deposited money in Chung’s Hong Kong bank account that he used to then influence a 1996 election. This is not time a foreign power has attempted to influence a presidential election, and it certainly will not be the last, but it gave me great insight into the way the Chinese Communist Party operates so many years ago.
Michael McCaul: (14:10)
It’s been 20 years since then, but that story could easily be a headline today because the threat from Chairman Xi’s Chinese Communist Party largely remains the same. However, today it’s more aggressive, it’s more expansive, it’s more sophisticated, and it’s better resourced. For decades, they’ve stolen our intellectual property in what NSA director Admiral Keith Alexander said, “One of the largest transfers of wealth in human history.” For years and years, we tried to bring the People’s Republic of China into the family of nations as a friend, as an ally. But as Secretary Baker recently told me, it just did not work. And recently, the Houston consulate of China was shut down after they got caught stealing biomedical research from MD Anderson in my home state, while at the same time attempting to steal the COVID vaccine, using it as a hub for espionage.
Michael McCaul: (15:18)
Stealing our vaccine so they could save the world from the very virus that they brought to the world. That is why this China task force report is so important, and it focuses on our foreign policy with the Chinese Communist Party. Whether it’s our military posture with China, to capturing their belt and road initiative, to condemning their human rights violations every day, to supporting the protesters in Hong Kong and the threatened countries like Taiwan, and Tibet, and the Himalayas, to countering the CCPs hundred year marathon for global and military dominance. And for decades, the United States and its allies have been asleep at the wheel until COVID-19. COVID created an awakening experience for the American people and the sleeping giant has finally awoken, and they took what could have been a local outbreak, as Whip Scalise said, and covered it up and hid the evidence, and it turned into a global pandemic.
Michael McCaul: (16:32)
One of the biggest takeaways from this report has been the vulnerability of our supply chain with China. When the United States or our allies called for an independent investigation into the origins of the pandemic, the CCP weaponized their control of the supply chain, threatening to withhold vital supplies from the United States. We must protect our critical supply, including medical supply chains, and important technologies like advanced semiconductor chips. And that’s why we focused a big part of this report on how we can protect our critical supply chains, including medical supplies and important future technologies. We must take steps to protect these critical supply chains. We simply cannot afford to wait any longer. Our national security depends on it. The Chinese Communist Party is the greatest long-term threat to the interest of the United States of America.
Michael McCaul: (17:37)
My father’s generation fought in World War II. I grew up in the Cold War. My children, they experienced 9/11, and most of us in this room did, but now the greatest challenge for this generation is the Chinese Communist Party. It is a generational struggle, and this is a generational document that will guide the Congress for many years to come. So again, I want to thank Leader McCarthy who worked so hard on this. I really want to thank the ranking members of all the committees of jurisdiction, and I want to thank the members of the task force for their very hard work over the last several months to put this together on time, and I want to thank the staff that work tirelessly, over the weekends and late at night, even as late as last night, Caroline Campbell was working til probably three o’clock in the morning to get this thing done. Thanks to all the staff. This is a true appeal to the patriotism of American businesses and Americans across this country to wake up to the Chinese Communist Party. And with that, I yield back.
Kevin McCarthy: (18:57)
Thank you, Michael. I do want to thank the staff. I want to thank, when you look at these members, you might see faces, but you don’t know their expertise. You have those that have served in combat. Those who are experts in healthcare. Those who are expert in trade or financial services. We combined them all together and behind are another of other members who helped as well, from all the 11 jurisdictions, the ranking members of their committees as well, working together as one. And I also want to thank people who are not here, those Americans across this nation, be it in business, be it in former government, from serving in the Obama Administration, to Republican Administration, for being a part of this task force. For providing us the information of your knowledge, providing us your recommendations, and this group as a whole, the work that they were able to do to serve all this nation and all the members. Everybody in Congress will be able to get this report, and it’s not something that you can or should just read.
Kevin McCarthy: (19:57)
It’s actually action items, legislation that can pass, legislation that will make us stronger, safer, and have a much brighter and prosperous future. With that, I’m going to open it up for questions. I know everybody can’t fit in the room, so I’m going to start with Zoom. And I know there might be a little pause from a technical point of view, but if we could have our first question by Zoom, and I’ve got a lot of expertise here.
Speaker 1: (20:22)
As a reminder, if you’d like to ask a question, please contact the moderator directly. Our first question comes from Jo [inaudible 00:20:33] from Voice of America. Jo, your line is now live.
Hi, thank you for doing this. This is Jo [inaudible 00:20:43] from Voice of America. I’d like to ask you a question a little bit related to North Korea. One of the areas that the US needs to cooperate with China is North Korea. Do you still believe that this is a valid idea that US still needs to work closely with China on the nuclear threat in terms of North Korea, and is this issue included in this report?
Kevin McCarthy: (21:09)
The first question is yes, I do believe it’s important, not just with China, but with the rest of the world should work together on the nuclear threat of North Korea. This administration, the Trump Administration, has prioritized that. We’ve been able to shrink the number of tests that have gone forward. I think we’re closer to getting there, but everybody must work together, not just China themselves, but I believe it is very important. Do you want to touch on in the report itself?
Michael McCaul: (21:36)
Yeah. We talk a lot in the report and let me thank Voice of America for translating the origins of COVID-19 into Mandarin, penetrating the Chinese firewall, getting it to mainland China so that the people of China could actually read the truth about their government. And this report went viral. President Xi’s spokesman condemned the task force and the report itself. In fact, they dedicated an hour long CGTN television propaganda piece debunking this report because they know it’s true and they fear their own people more than anything. And so I want to thank Voice of America for that.
Michael McCaul: (22:23)
Yes, China can be a leverage on North Korea, but it’s also important, in this report we point out, to support our allies in the region. And that is South Korea is under threat from China, and that is Hong Kong who was invaded by China, in violation of the UK-Sino treaty. To Taiwan where China parades its military, its warships, in the Taiwan straits every day, to the South China sea that threatens not only Taiwan, but Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. It’s important that we work with our allies to win this global competition. And we talk a lot about the United Nations, how China’s systematically taken over key positions in the United Nations, including the WHO, which failed in its number one responsibility to alert the world to a global pandemic because Tedros was President Xi’s handpicked candidate. We need to take more of these positions back, not just the United States, but our allies, so that the body that we fund so much, and pay so much money to, can be better representative for freedom and democracy.
Kevin McCarthy: (23:40)
So another question on Zoom.
Speaker 1: (23:43)
Our next question come from Brendan [inaudible 00:23:45] with the National Journal. Brendan, you line is now open.
Hi, everybody, thanks for doing this. Several of you said about two-thirds of the recommendations in this report are bi-partisan, how are you guys reaching that number-
Speaker 2: (24:02)
… bipartisan. How are you guys reaching that number? What are a few major recommendations when there are differences of opinion between the parties?
Kevin McCarthy: (24:09)
Why don’t you take that?
Speaker 2: (24:09)
And if there is a transition after November, are you guys confident that President Biden, or [inaudible 00:24:16] Biden would implement these recommendations, or are these carefully sent up? Thanks.
Kevin McCarthy: (24:21)
All right, I’ll take the last question then I’ll turn it over to Mike or somebody else up here that wants to touch on the bipartisanship. I have a concern, if you say, if there’s a transition in administration. This administration’s been very strong, standing up to China. And there are reports publicly from the FBI that China wants to influence this election and they have selected who they want to influence it with. That yes, they support Joe Biden to become President of the United States. The concern that I have, if you just go back to the Obama Biden administration, to 2011, what did president Obama said? He said, “We welcome China’s rise. I absolutely believe that China’s peaceful rise is good for the world and it’s good for America.” Maybe they did not know, or maybe he believed when they built the islands and told them that they would not weaponize them.
Kevin McCarthy: (25:12)
He did not understand they were lying. Or what about in 2015, that Joe Biden said, “We want to see China rise.” Or what about just last year, Joe Biden, when he said, “China is not competition for us.” I would hope Joe Biden would read this report and really see if he had not learned from the COVID experience, from a supply chain, from the actions taken by China and what they are doing to the rest of our industries as well. That that would be a real concern to me, of why switching an administration would be wrong and maybe a concern to me of why China wants to influence this election. You want to take the first part?
Michael McCaul: (25:55)
Sure. And as most of you know, I’m a very bipartisan member. We’ve accomplished a lot on the foreign affairs committee together, Republican, Democrat moving forward. I think after this election, that the other side of the aisle will stop playing politics with this issue and take up this report and two thirds of the bipartisan recommendations and start passing them into law. I think the most bipartisan issue is something that we passed on the NDAA, and that has to do with supply chain. On that bill, we had the CHIPS for America Act. The CHIPS are the brains that deal with anything you can turn on or off. Everything from say your toasters to fighter jets. These advanced semiconductor chips are critical to our national security.
Michael McCaul: (26:45)
And so we worked across the aisle in the House and Senator Cornyn was Senator Warner and me with Doris Matsui, to get that language on the National Defense Authorization bill. We hope to change the tax structure to incentivize companies like that, to bring that manufacturing capability back to the United States to protect our national security. But also importantly, to bring manufacturing jobs back home to America, into the United States. So I think many of these are very workable. I think after the election, when everybody calms down and the politics subsides, we’ll have the time to pass it. I don’t know if any of the members have any-
Kevin McCarthy: (27:27)
Let’s have Mike Gallagher. Come on up, sir.
Mike Gallagher : (27:32)
Well, I just would highlight a couple things in the report that illustrate how bipartisan this issue is and where I think we have an opportunity to build the foundation of a bipartisan foreign policy. So for example, in the report, you’ll find an endorsement of the Networks Act, which would be the most comprehensive and tough sanctions regime against the Chinese communist party, particularly for what it’s doing to back state-owned telecommunications companies, Huawei. And that’s a bill that not only has the co-sponsorship of hawkish members like Liz Cheney, but also Ruben Gallego in the House, Chrissy Houlahan and Chuck Schumer in the Senate. So I don’t know another issue in American politics that unites me and Chuck Schumer as closely as countering the Chinese Communist Party.
Mike Gallagher : (28:12)
As well as you’ll see at least 15 recommendations in there that are related to cyber and the work we did in a bipartisan fashion on the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, that I co-chaired with Senator Angus King, an independent from Maine. For example, mandating continuity of the economy planning so that we’re prepared for a massive cyber attack. And that we shore up a lot of the deficiencies of the faulty agreement that President Obama and Vice President Biden signed with General Secretary Xi Jinping, when they treated him to a state dinner after the OPM hack in 2015. So when it comes to the future of 5G and the future of cyber competition, there’s a ton in this report that is bipartisan that we can build on.
Kevin McCarthy: (28:59)
Thank you, Mike. Next question on Zoom.
Speaker 3: (29:05)
Thank you. There are no other virtual questions to get to at this time.
Kevin McCarthy: (29:11)
Speaker 4: (29:12)
Leader McCarthy, thanks for taking my question. As you know, there are people still dying from the coronavirus. Why is it a priority of House Republicans at this time, to focus on China? What would you say to Americans that see this as a deflection from the Trump administrations’ missteps in their response to the virus?
Kevin McCarthy: (29:30)
I would say, first of all, go to the Commitment to America, that every Republican here has gone through. You know what our very first item is to do? Is restore our way of life, defeat the virus and keep America healthy. So what we have focused on is getting a safe and effective vaccine, the therapeutics. So our first priority is not China. When we talked about doing a task force on China, it was long before COVID. I went to the speaker and asked, “Could we do this bipartisan? Could we have the same number of Republicans and Democrats and work on a plan, that we can focused, united?” It took me eight months to get the Democrat leadership to agree to that. And they said, “Yes.” You could actually read an article in the Washington Post. Because not only did we get so far that we’re going to introduce it, we provided them the information, both sides, on who we were going to announce. That got backed away.
Kevin McCarthy: (30:25)
So the real question that you ask, is what’s our number one priority, is actually defeating the virus and making us safe. Our second priority would make our streets safe and secure. And that would be not defunding the police like the Democrats will put on the floor this week. That would add 1.75 billion. So we’d have better community policing, we’d have greater training and we’d have 500,000 new body cameras. But when you go down here, if you want to go to our next level of where we’re going, of rebuilding the greatest economy, that’s 10 million new jobs in the next year. And part of the plan that we have to build those 10 million new jobs is to break our dependency on China, especially when it comes to the supply chain and bring those manufacturing jobs back there. So this will implement into the commitment to America. It’s one of the elements of making America stronger, of restoring rebuilding and renewing. That’s the fundamental difference, but I appreciate the question. [crosstalk 00:31:21] Yes?
Speaker 5: (31:22)
Leader McCarthy, how concerned are you that last night the President didn’t condemn white supremacy in the debate and told white supremacy cowboys to, “Stand back and stand by?”
Kevin McCarthy: (31:33)
Well, I think the president has been very clear that he’s against anybody for committing violence in the streets. The president said just recently, that he was going to designate KKK and Antifa as terrorist organizations. I was concerned when I listened to Joe Biden, try to claim that Antifa was not a group. I don’t know what’s on the streets then. I don’t know what’s causing a lot of this problems. And the concern that Joe Biden, in his own administration, my question would be to him as a follow-up, are those 13 people, along with his running mate who funded people to be bailed out, are they still working? Because I know he still has the VP.
Kevin McCarthy: (32:16)
My concern would be too, is the independent person he selected happens to come from my home state, Senator Kamala Harris. She was the top cop, the attorney general. I have watched in LA, two sheriffs walk up and get shot in the head by just sitting in a car. I have not seen any comments from Kamala Harris. I know she went to California right after that. I did not hear of her visiting those two. The times and again, of what are transpiring here is wrong. We know it, and that’s why in the commitment to America, we invest in making sure our streets are safe and secure for all families and neighborhoods. The president’s action by making KKK and Antifa terrorist organizations, I applaud. [crosstalk 00:33:04] Yes, sir?
Speaker 6: (33:04)
With the country watching and such a stage that he had last night- [crosstalk 00:33:09]
Kevin McCarthy: (33:08)
Speaker 6: (33:09)
… should he have just explicitly condemned white supremacists. And also, say to his hate group, proud boys, to stand bye and stand down?
Kevin McCarthy: (33:21)
Well, I think-
Speaker 6: (33:21)
Shouldn’t he have used that opportunity to condemn white supremacy?
Kevin McCarthy: (33:25)
Well, when I watched the debate, I listened to the question by Mr. Wallace. And when he was asking the question, if you listened to it, you heard what the president say? He asked, would you denounce it? What’d the president say, “Yes. Yes, I will.” [crosstalk 00:33:38]
Speaker 6: (33:37)
But then he didn’t denounce it by name, and he didn’t-
Kevin McCarthy: (33:37)
Well, how many times does he have to say it? If the question is, “Would you denounce it?” And the answer is, “Yes,” he did that. If the action prior was naming a terrorist organization, the KKK and Antifa, simply that, not only did his words speak it, but his actions have taken it. So I know where you want to go with this, but I don’t know how many more actions you would take. It would be concerning to me that Joe Biden would not believe Antifa is a group. Yes. Any more questions? [crosstalk 00:34:09]. Yes?
Speaker 7: (34:09)
[inaudible 00:34:09] would you want to pursue before the end of the year regarding China?
Kevin McCarthy: (34:22)
There are a number of bills, like one third of them, that either pass the House or the Senate. I have a real concern inside the House, not just not having the task force, but there are a number of bills in the Senate that have moved over to the House that haven’t been brought up. Now, I have a number of members here who have worked a great deal. I’d like them to come up, because they have made a lot of contributions here on different bills that they would think would be appropriate in this Congress to get through to. Anybody who would like to? Let’s go, Andy Barr first.
Andy Barr : (34:51)
Andy Barr from Kentucky. I serve on the House Financial Services Committee. We have jurisdiction over capital flows, capital markets, and also oversight over the treasury department’s implementation of sanctions. And when we talk about how bipartisan the recommendations are, one would be a Brad Sherman bill in the Financial Services Committee, that is a mirror image of the legislation that passed the Senate, Senator Kennedy’s bill. That would level the playing field and protect American investors from Chinese companies listed on US exchanges, that do not have the same accounting oversight. And so we want to protect investors and also prevent Chinese state-owned enterprises from accessing our capital markets to benefit China’s Military-Civil Fusion. Another example is the Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act. Yes, we need to cooperate with China, to counter North Korean aggression, but you have to understand that the Chinese Communist Party is helping Pyongyang circumvent international sanctions. And we passed, in the NDAA, in a major bipartisan way, the toughest economic sanctions ever directed at North Korea, with secondary sanctions against Chinese banks that are facilitating illicit finance of North Korea. So a couple…
Andy Barr : (36:03)
… banks that are facilitating elicit finance of North Korea. So a couple of examples of bipartisan legislation in this report.
Kevin McCarthy: (36:10)
Let me call up Chris Stewart, who serves on appropriations, also on the Intel committee and also holds the record for his time of, was it the B2 around the-
Chris Stewart: (36:19)
Kevin McCarthy: (36:20)
B1 around the world the fastest.
Chris Stewart: (36:24)
Thank you, Kevin. Again, I’m representing or speaking mostly from my experience as a member of The House Intelligence Committee. The focus of this report in that area centers on things like hypersonics, artificial intelligence and overlaying over the battlefield. Some of the defensive systems, both regarding cyber and actually kinetic weapons on the battlefield. These are the types of things that there is broad bipartisan support that we think should be and will be included in things like NDAA and IAA.
Chris Stewart: (36:58)
And by the way, if you’re talking about this report and your questions focus on the bipartisan nature of this, for heaven sakes, is there anything that could be more bipartisan than this? Who doesn’t agree that China is a threat to the future of our children? Who isn’t willing to say that? I don’t know anyone who isn’t. Well, I think we’ve indicated there are some who are reluctant, but most of us understand that.
Chris Stewart: (37:22)
And if you’re talking about, again, the work in artificial intelligence, in kinetics, in quantum computing, those are the types of things that we clearly can move forward on this. And this report will help us to do that.
Kevin McCarthy: (37:37)
Former Intel community worker too is Denver Riggleman.
Denver Riggleman: (37:43)
Thanks. And it’s good to have a fellow B1 guy up here with me. It’s fantastic, but there’s other things we can do besides legislation. If you look at pages 80 to 83 on the report, it’s not just the fact that we’re working hypersonics, we’re working quantum computing, but it’s the economic intelligence that we have to start as a discipline in the United States Congress, because it’s really about the cascading effects of how that investment works.
Denver Riggleman: (38:02)
So when you see up here, like former intelligence officers, everybody up here that has incredible expertise. I know we talked about COVID, but we can walk and chew gum at the same time. So we have to do it. We’ve got to look at the Chinese threat from an economic battle space also, and also in space and what we’re doing there.
Denver Riggleman: (38:16)
And that’s what’s incredible about this, it’s not just the incredible legislation in a bipartisan way we have, we can use organizations like the export/import bank and the development of finance corporation and start looking at Chinese economic encirclement, and actually direct our defense spending, our intelligence spending and our infrastructure spending so that we can stop the encirclement that’s going on in China and the Belton Road Initiative.
Denver Riggleman: (38:35)
So it’s not just a legislation that we can have. It’s the money that we already have in our coffers. And it’s the ability to use this report in order as a timeline, but also as a strategy to go after. And I’ll tell you this, I think what we have up here with this group, and when you heard Chris Stewart, you hear the leader and you hear people like Mike Gallagher ,is that we have the opportunity right now, right now to address this problem.
Denver Riggleman: (38:54)
That’s why it’s so bipartisan, that’s why it’s so important. And as an intelligence officer, a former intelligence officer, this policy document might seem boring to some people, but this is like the diehard of policy documents for geeks. So I think that’s why people need to actually dive into this and make sure that they read this. And that’s why I’m so proud to be on this task force, but there’s things we can do outside of legislation with the groups we have now. I think you need to look the executive order from President Trump on May, right? May of 2020 when it comes to the DFC and actually how we can combat the economic encirclement by the Chinese. Thank you.
Kevin McCarthy: (39:25)
Guess I’ll have former Green Brae, Congressman Waltz.
Congressman Waltz: (39:28)
I just wanted to come back to your question on COVID. One of the bipartisan recommendations we have on here that we’re trying to move through the defense bill has to do with our pharmaceuticals. Bipartisan in the Senate were trying to move it through the defense bill that, look, we’ve lost the ability, whether it’s our antibiotics, whether it’s oncology medicines, we’ve lost the ability to produce those pharmaceuticals domestically. And when you have a state spokesman from the Chinese communist party, suggesting that maybe they withhold the raw ingredients and withhold those drugs from all Americans in the midst of a pandemic, I think that’s absolutely the time that we need to look at how we onshore that manufacturing again.
Congressman Waltz: (40:12)
So this is absolutely relevant to what’s going on in Corona. It’s relevant to every American and all of our constituents. And these are bipartisan bills that truly should be moving through the house.
Congressman Waltz: (40:25)
The other piece, don’t just take this from us. Look at President Zi’s actual speeches, not the state translation, but the actual translation where he talks about a new world order, where China calls the shots in the United States and our free world allies do not. That is something that we absolutely have to address now. How are they getting to the top to be the new dominant world order? Through technology. And they’re stealing their way to the top through cyber, as Representative Gallagher mentioned, through our universities. We’ve had arrests now at Harvard, University of Texas, Texas A and M, Emory, University of Florida, Ohio state. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what the Chinese have done to infiltrate our academic institutions.
Congressman Waltz: (41:11)
And then finally they’re buying it and they’re buying up key technologies through mergers and acquisitions, and we need to begin rethinking this in our financial sector as well. So look, this is a whole of government, whole of society effort and competition that we’re in, that we cannot afford to lose for our children and grandchildren. It’s my honor, thank you leader, to be a part of it.
Kevin McCarthy: (41:35)
I want to thank all the members for their participation. This will not be the last you hear of this. This will be the bedrock. Yes?
Speaker 8: (41:44)
[inaudible 00:41:44] one more try, serious try, on this stimulus before [inaudible 00:41:50]. Are you behind, or do you put your caucus behind the 1.6 billion-
Kevin McCarthy: (41:56)
One thing I know, we would like-
Speaker 8: (41:58)
Kevin McCarthy: (41:58)
Oh, I’m sorry. We would like to see a COVID relief bill. One that is bipartisan. Unfortunately, having done for these relief bills, there always seems to be a common denominator. When Speaker Pelosi gets involved, it always gets delayed. And in this last COVID relief bill that we’ve been trying to do, she’s been the driving force behind it, and really the driving force of not having it happen. She told us in August, we would not leave until we got one done. But she sent everybody home. She called us back during August for an emergency of the Post Office. The House Republicans actually proposed the only ability that we have in an MTR to move forward on some COVID relief. The Democrats voted it down.
Kevin McCarthy: (42:41)
Again, when we look at what Nancy Pelosi is proposing today is simply the Heroes Act that’s already failed. It still talks about marijuana more than it talks about jobs. The only deduction that they have is 600 million cutting of the police force when the streets are less safe today than they were before. So-
Speaker 8: (43:02)
[inaudible 00:43:02] vital to the economic [inaudible 00:43:06]-
Kevin McCarthy: (43:04)
I do too. I do too. It’s unfortunate-
Speaker 8: (43:07)
[inaudible 00:43:07] 1.6?
Kevin McCarthy: (43:09)
It’s easy to answer. The answer is I want to have a bipartisan bill. I want to come to an agreement. I am more than willing to sit down and make sure we get one. Unfortunately, The Speaker will not move. That is why we have a discharge petition on the floor right now. Because of The Speaker’s action, that is why she has 23 members of her own party warning her that they will sign the discharge petition for PPP. The fundamental part of what we actually proposed to make sure that people would keep their jobs, the small businesses would stay open.
Kevin McCarthy: (43:40)
Remember history here, the very short history, when we did our first Cares bill, that Sunday when we came back in, what did Speaker Pelosi do? She blew up what even Schumer said he was agreeing to the day before and waited another week. After we got that passed and she got more money for the Kennedy Center, the only reason why she held it, then we were running out of money because it was so successful to help these small businesses pay their rent and pay their employees, that the Treasury Secretary asked not to change any legislative body, but to actually have more money put in.
Kevin McCarthy: (44:13)
She famously, that late night in front of the refrigerator, told the nation no, and delayed it even further. So more people were laid off. Each time we have tried to do this she has stepped in to delay the process. There might be many reasons why she thinks that’s smart. Maybe it’s a political reason, but it’s not smart for the people who are unemployed. Even her own Number Two said $600 on the unemployment, extra, that is $15 an hour extra of what’s being paid is not a red line and that people should actually change that. But she made it a red line to make it not happen.
Kevin McCarthy: (44:49)
There are times, and again, that she has denied this for moving forward. So when Treasury Secretary Minutia puts forth the plan that it could be bipartisan, we would seriously be able to look at that and make sure we move forward. But if Nancy Pelosi continues to run forward. It’s not a $2.2 trillion bill. It’s the exact same bill that she had before. All she does is put these fundamental cliffs in that it still what goes out to 2.6. She’s not serious about it. That is why the American people are hurting.
Kevin McCarthy: (45:19)
That is why 23 people of her own party are warning her that they’ll go with Republicans. The only measure we have, because she controls all, is a discharge petition. So the American public can understand what that is. If 218 people are willing to sign a piece of paper to move a bill to the floor that Steve Shabbat has put together. He was the architect of the PPP. He has reforms in there to help the small businesses, the same thing that we tried to move before. It’s interesting in the continuing resolution that she would not put it on the floor in the normal sense that she went to having it on suspension. Why?
Kevin McCarthy: (45:58)
Because the Republicans would have an MTR and we again would have fought to make sure that there would be COVID relief for the American public. The only thing that is holding up COVID relief for the American public is one person, the one person that has all the power in this House, the one person that has delayed every time we have done it before, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Kevin McCarthy: (46:19)
So if your question was to me, yes, Republicans will be more than willing to support a bill to get relief. But the real question would be, is Nancy Pelosi going to deny us one more time? And she’s not denying me. She’s hurting the American public. Maybe she thinks it helps her politically come November. But I want her to look in the faces of the people that are laid off. I want her to look at the small businesses that have shut for good. I want her to look at the schools that are fearful that they don’t have any liability protection because they’re being sued, or they don’t have the money to actually protect, to have the PPE to go forward.
Kevin McCarthy: (46:54)
It’s interesting to me that in LA County their own health department person says we’re going to keep the schools closed until the election. No science based upon that, but this nation is too great for an idea so small as to play politics with COVID and The Speaker knows better. Thank you.