They’ve also repeatedly attacked Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) choice of Clyburn to head the panel, claiming the veteran South Carolina Democratic lawmaker is too openly political to handle the post, although Democrats reject that assertion as misguided.
“Before we knew the mission of this committee, [Pelosi] nominated who would become the chair. Jim Clyburn, who probably one of the most political people on the Democratic side, described this pandemic as a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit their vision,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy bashed Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who are also on the panel, as well.
“While I have strong misgivings about Speaker Pelosi’s intentions behind the creation of this select committee, I am honored to be named by Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy as the lead Republican on the committee, and I’m ready to get to work confronting the challenges we face,” Scalise said in a statement.
And McCarthy has created his own “China task force” to look into a number of China-related issues, including the origin of the coronavirus pandemic itself.
Rep. Michael McCaul (Texas), top Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee, will head up the effort. Other members include GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Reps. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Andy Barr (R-Ky.), John Curtis (R-Utah), Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), John Joyce (R-Pa.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), Denver Riggleman (R-Va.), Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Michael Waltz (R-Fla.).
The Republicans, who serve on more than 10 different House committees, “will be looking at a wide range of China-related issues, including influence operations targeting the [United States] including our universities, think tanks and media outlets; economic threats to our government and our allies; efforts to gain a technological advantage; and [China’s] role in the origin and spread of Covid-19,” McCarthy said at his weekly press conference. Legislative recommendations are due by October.
McCarthy said he and Pelosi, a longtime China critic, had discussions about the task force several months ago, but Pelosi pulled out at the last minute.