GOP to Use House Majority for Increased Focus on China

Republicans aim to use their newly established majority in the U.S. House of Representatives to force the Biden administration to focus more intensely on China and more closely monitor Ukraine aid. But the party reiterated that they have no plans to stop the support for Kyiv. GOP Representative McCaul, who is poised to head the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said his top priority will be competing with China, including a monitor on high-tech exports. “We’re in a great powers competition right now with Communist China. They are our number one competitor now and probably our largest threat to national security,” McCaul underlined.

As part of their newfound majority, Republicans will decide what legislation is considered in the House and have a bigger role in setting spending policy and writing legislation. But their overall influence on foreign policy will be limited. To become law, any bills must be passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate and be signed by President Joe Biden.

That leaves Republicans with the ability to conduct investigations and compel testimony from administration officials because – as the majority party – they will control House committees.

House Republicans aim to focus on bolstering supply chains to support domestic production of essential components like semiconductors, as well as export controls, especially preventing sensitive technology find its way into the Chinese military.

McCaul and Representative Rogers, a Republican who is in line to chair the Armed Services Committee, plan to work together to strengthen the defense industrial supply line to make it easier to provide military equipment to Taiwan so it can ward off any potential attack from China.

Although GOP has signaled it would be more tight fisted on the flow of U.S. aid to Ukraine, they insist that they will not cut it off. In May, all 57 House votes against a bill providing $40 billion assistance to Ukraine came from the Republican Party members.

“I think it is ‘America First’ to help NATO and our allies. It’s also ‘America First’ to help Ukraine so that we don’t end up in there,” McCaul said.

Despite skepticism expressed by the Republicans during the campaign period, Biden said he did not expect aid to Ukraine to be interrupted. He added that his administration has not given Ukraine a blank check, as a response to Representative McCarthy, the top Republican candidate to become House speaker.

McCaul said Republicans wanted more “oversight and accountability” on foreign assistance, as well as participation by U.S. allies, and that he would like to see new weapons, like longer-range artillery, sent to Ukraine.

In terms of relations with Iran, Congressional Republicans – and some Democrats – strongly opposed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran reached under Obama. Biden’s administration has tried to revive the agreement since he took office in 2021, but the two sides have been unable to strike a deal.

Trump pulled Washington out of the nuclear deal in 2018, leaving the other countries unsure about whether they could trust any future U.S. government to honor any agreement reached by Biden.

Republicans have vowed to block any nuclear agreement.

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