House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced Thursday that he will tap Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) to chair the House Select Committee on China that McCarthy plans to implement in the new Congress.
“Under a Republican majority, I will establish a China Select Committee to expose and fight against the Chinese Communist Party’s cyber, trade, and military threats against America,” McCarthy said in a tweet.” @RepGallagher is exceptionally qualified and is the right person to serve as the chairman.”
Gallagher, first elected to the House in 2016, is a Marine veteran who was deployed twice to Iraq as a commander of intelligence teams, and was on now-retired Army Gen. David Petraeus’s Central Command Assessment Team. He is a member of the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees
Gallagher told The Hill in October that he sees “huge opportunity in divided government” to get “bipartisan work” done on China with the select committee.
“A select committee on China could go a long way towards coordinating policy across the many committee jurisdictions and thereby create a more coherent approach to our China policy,” Gallagher said in October.
Creating a committee on China has been a longtime priority for McCarthy, who had tried to work with current Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to create a committee in the last Congress. Those plans were scrapped at the last minute, Republicans have said.
The select committee is likely to focus on not only international issues but also on domestic issues related to the influence of the Chinese Communist Party, such as Beijing’s purchase of agricultural lands in the U.S. It could also touch on human rights issues and “ideological warfare.”
FDD Action, an advocacy group affiliated with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, is supportive of Gallagher leading the planned committee.
“Rep. Gallagher also deeply understands that China is not just a policy issue for officials in Washington to grapple with. The CCP threat affects every American across the country, including in business, academia, civil society, and across all levels of government. His insight and desire to approach the issue in bipartisan fashion is good for the country,” Maseh Zarif, Director of Congressional Relations at FDD Action, said in a statement.