WASHINGTON D.C. (Nexstar) — Republicans and Democrats both say the U.S. needs to investigate China for its role in the coronavirus crisis and its efforts to steal American technology, but they can’t agree on how to investigate together.
Texas Republican Michael McCaul is leading the GOP congressional task force investigation into China.
Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar is leading the same investigation, but with a team of Democrats. U.S. Rep. Cuellar says it’s time Congress holds China accountable.
“China doesn’t play by the same rules,” Cuellar said.
Cuellar and the Blue Dog Coalition are asking for an independent commission to investigate China over issues like its role in spreading the coronavirus and how the U.S. can become less dependent on the country for critical supplies.
Why do we have to depend on a lot of this equipment. We’ve got to make sure we build that here in the United States?” Cuellar said.
U.S. Rep. McCaul agrees, but says he’s already leading the necessary investigation.
“Why is it we are so reliant on China for medical supplies and pharmaceuticals?” McCaul said. “We have already had some very high level briefings from the intelligence community, the State Department, the National Security Advisor.”
Mccaul says House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy invited Democrats to join the task force when it launched in May, but they declined.
McCaul says Congress doesn’t need separate investigations with the same goal.
“If any Democrat wants to join us, we have an open door policy,” McCaul said. “It should be a policy exercise, not a partisan exercise.”
But Cuellar says the GOP task force lacks legislative authority. He wants Republicans to stop and join Democrats to avoid sending a divided message to China.
“It is one of those situations that we have to take a bipartisan approach on,” Cuellar said.
The GOP task force is scheduled to release its first report on China next week.