Republicans Set To Turn Up the Heat on Biden Administration's Foreign Dealings

Incoming House Foreign Affairs chairman says focus will be China, Russia, Iran

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November 17, 2022

Congressional investigators are poised to turn up the heat on the Biden administration's foreign policy decisions now that Republicans are in control of the House, according to the incoming chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, who told the Washington Free Beacon in a wide-ranging interview that the administration's dealings with China, Russia, and Iran will become the center of multiple probes.

Rep. Michael McCaul (Texas), the lead Republican on the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Republicans will now be able to unearth information about the Biden administration's botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, its sale of weapons technology to China, and whether President Joe Biden benefited from his son's business dealings, among other issues.

"We're going to have gavels, we're going to have subpoena power," McCaul told the Free Beacon.

As the House Foreign Affairs Committee's ranking member, McCaul spearheaded investigations into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, the deadly evacuation from Afghanistan, and the administration's dealings with Communist China. But without subpoena power, Democrats and the administration were able to obstruct those probes. Now that power has shifted, McCaul said he is ready to "fully exercise" the committee's jurisdiction by reigniting a slew of investigations into every aspect of the Biden administration's foreign dealings.

McCaul, a former counterterrorism and national security chief in Texas's U.S. attorney's office who this month was reelected for his 10th term in Congress, said China will be among Congress's top priorities. The lawmaker told the Free Beacon that he is in possession of documents showing the Biden administration granted export licenses for $60 billion worth of American goods to be sold to Huawei, a top Chinese Communist Party tech company known to be at the forefront of the regime's spy apparatus. Another $40 billion in exports was approved for SMIC, another CCP tech giant that produces computer chips.

These sales were approved by the Bureau of Industry and Security, a little-known office housed in the Commerce Department. In the last six months, McCaul said, that office has denied less than 1 percent of the proposed export licenses for China. This information dovetails with recent reports revealing that China has bolstered its hypersonic missile program with American technology purchased from firms that receive U.S. government support.

McCaul said he will shine a light on the Bureau of Industry and Security and will be "focused like a laser" on the bureau's approval of sales to China.

"Why are we exporting technology to China that they use to build their hypersonic weapons with? Why are we exporting all this stuff—aerospace technology, satellite technology—that has allowed them to build their military apparatus? They steal it, but we don't have to sell it to them," McCaul said.

Another focus will be China's Belt and Road Initiative, a CCP tool used to subjugate developing nations. China provides countries, including many in Africa, with low-interest loans that ultimately leave the nation in debt to the CCP, which uses this foothold to exploit the countries' resources, such as precious metals.

"We have to compete with China. We can't just say they're bad," McCaul said. "It's a great power competition." To this end, he will seek to bolster the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, which Congress created to spur private investment across the globe. The corporation, McCaul said, is not being used "the way Congress intended," and he plans to revamp it with a specific eye toward countering China's Belt and Road Initiative.

The Biden administration's botched withdrawal from Afghanistan will also be back in the spotlight.

McCaul, who led a minority investigation into the matter, said the administration is stonewalling congressional investigators by hiding scores of documents that detail Afghanistan's fall in real time. McCaul said he has already hit the Biden administration with a document preservation demand and will use the Foreign Affairs Committee to reignite his probe into the issue.

As Afghanistan was descending into Taliban control, McCaul said, U.S intelligence indicated that Russia was amassing forces near Ukraine. "It's a cause-and-effect piece. It wasn't a matter of if, but when," McCaul said. The Biden administration's foreign policy failures created a domino effect that began in Afghanistan.

Now, "if we're successful in Ukraine, that's a deterrence against Chairman Xi invading Taiwan," McCaul said, referring to Chinese president Xi Jinping. As the Foreign Affairs Committee's leader, McCaul will have authority to haul Biden administration officials before Congress to grill them on the situation in Ukraine, as well as administration efforts to counter Russian aggression.

McCaul also seeks to increase U.S. efforts to counter Iran, a chief ally of China and Russia. While the Biden administration has hopes of salvaging the 2015 nuclear accord, McCaul said the priority must shift to supporting Iranian citizens who are protesting to oust the hardline regime.

"Instead of seizing the moment and joining and helping them, this administration, because it's so concerned about the Iran deal … is ignoring this one," McCaul said. "We have a great opportunity to seize the momentum."

McCaul said he will lead efforts to pressure the State Department into increasing its support for protesters, such as providing demonstrators with internet services so that they can organize against the regime. This, he said, will also help the world obtain concrete evidence detailing the regime's murders and brutal imprisonment of dissidents.

Another priority that is certain to garner headlines is McCaul's focus on Hunter Biden's laptop, which appears to contain evidence of shady business deals involving Joe Biden during his time as vice president. Along with the House Oversight Committee, McCaul hopes to collect evidence that could be used to expose the elder Biden.

"We're not going to shoot with blanks and start talking about impeachment," McCaul said. "We have to build the case. There's a lot of fire to smoke when you look at these financial transactions that were facilitated by the father, given his role as vice president. The question is, did the father gain financially from this?"