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House Dem Parrots Radical Anti-War Coalition Working To Water Down China Bill

Anti-war Code Pink lobbies to weaken bill aimed at combating Beijing's malign activities

Rep. Sara Jacobs (D., Calif.) / Getty Images
• February 2, 2022 4:15 pm

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A Democratic member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is parroting the demands of a far-left coalition of advocacy groups, including the anti-war Code Pink, to weaken provisions in a bill aimed at combating China's malign activities.

Rep. Sara Jacobs (D., Calif.) is pressing her colleagues to sign a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) demanding that "potentially harmful provisions" be stripped from a massive China bill, known as the COMPETES Act, that is being debated in the House. Jacobs wants to strip language that provides security assistance to Beijing's opponents and mandates the government monitor Chinese nationals who work in sensitive positions, such as in academia, to ensure they do not spy for China or steal proprietary information.

Jacobs's letter, which is currently being circulated among offices on Capitol Hill, mirrors calls from far-left advocacy groups. Code Pink, MoveOn.org, and the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft are among the groups that have been lobbying to weaken the bill, particularly portions of it that are supported by Republican lawmakers. These advocacy groups say the Senate version of the China bill contains "provisions that would unnecessarily increase regional tensions, endanger essential diplomatic flexibility, and could inadvertently contribute to a growing climate of anti-Asian racism in America."

Jacobs's letter employs almost identical language, indicating that House Democrats are allowing far-left groups to push China's agenda while weakening a bill meant to combat the Chinese Communist Party's increasingly aggressive military and economic policies. The progressive pressure campaign appears to be working: The bill, as it currently stands, is substantially weaker than its Senate version, according to Republican critics.

"The liberal special interest group Code Pink should not in any way be directing America's plans for countering the generational threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party," Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Washington Free Beacon. "The demands made by them and some Democrats in the House are counterproductive, will only further ensure little to no Republicans support, and doom the bill."

The Senate's companion bill passed through that chamber with bipartisan support. McCaul and other Republican leaders say the attempt to remove some of the Senate version's strongest provisions shows House Democrats are not serious about countering China's malign activities, including its massive spy operations in the United States.

One of the more controversial aspects of Jacobs's letter is the demand that the bill not "endanger the One China Policy," which stipulates that Taiwan is part of China. Jacobs and progressive allies also object to a provision requiring the Biden administration to brief Congress on the contents of its diplomacy with other countries, such as Iran.

Rep. Steve Chabot (R., Ohio), also a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said any bill that includes demands made by Code Pink and other far-left fringe organizations will not pass.

"Anyone who looks at the facts knows that the Chinese Communist Party is seeking to displace the free world and our values on the international stage," Chabot told the Free Beacon. "But radical progressive groups, like Code Pink's coalition, don't support American values so they don't see the threat. It would be better if Democrats ignored these extreme voices and instead worked in a bipartisan manner to win the competition with the CCP."

Published under: China