Home>Congress>Most N.J. Dems vote with GOP to create committee to get tough on China

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo: M.H. Anderson Photography).

Most N.J. Dems vote with GOP to create committee to get tough on China

By David Wildstein, January 10 2023 9:06 pm

New Jersey’s delegation voted 10-2 with a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to establish a Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party today, with Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) voting no.

Six Democrats and three Republicans supported the move by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to establish the new panel.  It passed 365-65, with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries also voting yes.

“For over three decades post Tiananmen Square Massacre, Congress was deeply divided, not between Republican and Democrat, but among the majority here and in the Senate who favored unfettered engagement and trade without serious human rights conditionality,” said Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Manchester), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  “But today, thankfully, we are turning a page.”

Rep. Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) said that the “Chinese Communist Party’s influence is the single greatest threat to our country today.”

“United States needs to implement tough policies to protect our citizens, our military, and our IP from their aggression,” said Kean.  “The work of this bipartisan select committee will lay important groundwork to ensure our county prevails in the face of our global adversaries today, and for years to come.”

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson) supported the new committee “because pursuing an evenhanded investigation of the Chinese Communist Party is necessary for the American people.

“But it is essential this panel pursue the facts and not become a soapbox for unfounded conspiracy theories and cloak itself in the xenophobia and racism that has crept from leaders in the Republican Party,” he said.  “Too often this bigotry has resulted in physical violence and emotional harm against Asian Americans across our country. If it goes down these paths, the select committee will fail all Americans.”

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