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Democrats Vote to Allow Taxpayer-Backed Financing of the Chinese Communist Party

Washington, October 31, 2019 -

This week, Committee Democrats abandoned an opportunity to consider a bipartisan Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank reauthorization deal, which included provisions to combat the Communist Party of China’s abhorrent human rights abuses, military aggression, and plan to dominate the global economy.

The Committee instead held a mark up to consider Democrats’ partisan H.R. 4863, the “United States Export Finance Agency Act.” This bill stripped provisions originally agreed to by Ranking Member Patrick McHenry and Chairwoman Maxine Waters, which would have focused Ex-Im resources to directly compete with China’s aggressive export credit agencies, ensuring American competitiveness. Additionally, H.R. 4863 did not include meaningful restrictions on Ex-Im financing of Communist China’s government-controlled companies that are involved in activities contrary to the U.S. national interest, including military operations and human rights abuses. By excluding this provision, Democrats are allowing the Ex-Im Bank to use taxpayer-backed financing to support the Communist Party of China.

The Ranking Member secured unanimous Republican support for reauthorization of the Bank with these critical provisions in place, as evidenced by the Committee’s vote on Congressman Denver Riggleman’s amendment. This amendment would have replaced Chairwoman Waters’ bill text with the original, bipartisan agreement reached by the Chair and Ranking Member, ensuring a strong, bipartisan vote of support in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, Committee Democrats chose partisanship and special interests over American workers and the generational threat posed by China.

On Ex-Im financing of the Chinese Communist Party, Ranking Member Patrick McHenry stated: “As we all know, Beijing poses a strategic threat to our national interest through its economic and military efforts. We also know of the Chinese government’s shocking abuse of human rights, including the mass internment of Uighurs and the ongoing suppression of freedom in Hong Kong. If we want to counter Beijing’s ambitions, we shouldn’t use Ex-Im to provide cheap financing for the Chinese Communist Party. The fact that a Member of Congress even has to express this idea is astonishing. But express it I must, because at the end of the day, Ex-Im support for the Chinese government is unacceptable to me and my Republican colleagues, but apparently a priority for certain Democrats.”

Throughout the markup, Democrats repeatedly opposed Republican attempts to add commonsense provisions to the bill, including:

  • An amendment offered by Congressman Bill Huizenga to protect U.S. elections from Russian interference and restore provisions from the originally bipartisan Ex-Im reauthorization deal.
  • An amendment offered by Congressman Scott Tipton to prohibit Ex-Im assistance for Chinese state-owned companies that advance China’s Belt & Road Initiative.
  • An amendment offered by Congressman Anthony Gonzalez to ensure Chinese bullying of American companies’ policies does not lead to infringements on Americans’ right to free speech.
  • An amendment offered by Congressman Warren Davidson to deny Ex-Im assistance to a government the President determines isn’t cooperating with us to stop the flood of opioids into our country.
  • An amendment offered by Congressman Andy Barr to restrict Ex-Im financing for the Chinese government as it is cracking down on demonstrators in Hong Kong.
  • An amendment offered by Congressman Denver Riggleman to consider the original reauthorization agreement that would have received wide-bipartisan support.

Ultimately, Democrats’ partisan Ex-Im bill will not be signed into law and was unable to secure a full Democrat vote of support, with three Democrat members voting alongside Republicans in opposition of a bill that does nothing for American workers and ignores the greatest geopolitical threat to our nation: China. Republicans stand willing to work with the majority to modernize the Bank and ensure that its authorities do not lapse.

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