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Newhouse Slams House Democrats for Allowing U.S. Funding To Benefit Chinese Communist Government

July 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced an amendment to the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill to prohibit funding in the bill from being used, directly or indirectly, by recipients of U.S. assistance to repay debts owed to the Government of the People’s Republic of China. Unfortunately, the amendment was blocked by Committee Democrats, with all Republicans and one Democrat voting in support.

“Let me be clear: the Chinese Communist Party and the Government of the People’s Republic of China are not our allies,” said Rep. Newhouse. “Ensuring that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not being used to make debt repayments to bankers in Communist China should not be controversial. We should be taking every action we can to avoid enabling our adversaries. I am disappointed in my Democratic colleagues for blocking this common-sense amendment.”

Click here to read the full text of the amendment.

Background:

  • The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a $1 trillion flagship foreign policy effort of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, could reshape global networks of trade, transport, and political ties within and between countries for decades to come. But since its announcement, the BRI has remained shrouded in confusion and controversy. China is a major lender for countries of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these countries have seen their sovereign debt become unsustainable.
  • In 2020, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified that, at the time, Treasury was working with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to gain full transparency of countries’ debts from China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative and ensure that funds from the institutions are not used to repay China.
  • Earlier this year, during the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, the current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, said “We would be very concerned to see the resources that are provided to these countries used to repay Chinese debt. That would defeat the purpose of the programs."

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