Editor’s note: The select committee will be made up of nine Republicans and seven Democrats. A previous version of the story contained incorrect information.
Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz (Fla.) will support a GOP-sponsored resolution to create a House Select Committee on China aimed at investigating U.S. competition with the Chinese Communist Party.
Moskowitz, a freshman congressman, said his experience serving as Florida’s director of emergency management during the COVID-19 pandemic — which gave him a direct look at supply chain issues — influenced his decision to support the establishment of the panel.
The resolution is scheduled to come to the floor for a vote on Tuesday. It remains unclear how many Democrats will support the measure.
“In Florida, I saw firsthand the dire impact that our reliance on PPE and medical equipment from the CCP had on the safety and health of Floridians and the American people. We should never again be dependent on other countries in order to protect American citizens,” Moskowitz said in a statement first provided to The Hill. “We have made progress since those days, but we need to find smart, strategic ways to improve our supply chain and establish a competitive edge against the CCP.”
“It is my hope and vision that the select committee stays clear of partisanship and submits policy recommendations that will strengthen our edge over the CCP. There are clear bipartisan steps we can take to make America more competitive,” he added.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has pushed to establish a select committee on China for some time. He came close to achieving that goal with Democrats in 2020 until, according to Republicans, Democrats pulled out of the effort.
McCarthy this year teased the possibility of creating the panel should Republicans take control of the chamber in the midterm elections.
The select committee, which will be chaired by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), is meant to “investigate and submit policy recommendations on the status of the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological, and security progress and its competition with the United States.” It has the ability to hold public hearings connected to “any aspect of its investigative functions.”
The panel will be made up of nine Republicans and seven Democrats. Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is tasked appointing members to the select committee.
In an op-ed published by Fox News last month, McCarthy and Gallagher said the Chinese Communist Party is “The greatest threat to the United States.”
“To win the new Cold War, we must respond to Chinese aggression with tough policies to strengthen our economy, rebuild our supply chains, speak out for human rights, stand against military aggression, and end the theft of Americans’ personal information, intellectual property, and jobs. We must recognize that China’s ‘peaceful rise’ was pure fiction and finally confront the CCP with the urgency the threat demands,” the lawmakers wrote.
“To do that, House Republicans will establish a Select Committee on China in the new Congress,” they added.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) tapped Moskowitz to serve as the state’s director of emergency management in 2018 despite their ideological differences. He was in the role when the COVID-19 pandemic began, which he called “the worst case scenario” on his official website.
In his statement on Tuesday, Moskowitz also called on the select committee to “find ways for us to address the rise of hate crimes we saw against the Asian community” amid the pandemic.
According to a national survey conducted by AAPI Data and Momentive and cited by the Brookings Institute in May, anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic.