Washington, DC – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul delivered the following opening statement at a full committee mark-up of various measures. 

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-Opening Remarks as Delivered-

“Thank you, Chairman Meeks. I want to thank you for holding this important markup and moving several important bills. I want to thank you for carrying on the traditions of this committee working in a bipartisan manner and I want to thank the staff on both sides of the aisle for their hard work leading up to this mark up.

I want to point out three bills from my Republican colleagues:

  • Representative Smith’s Desert Locust Control Act;
  • Representative Wagner’s Southeast Asia Strategy Act; and 
  • Representative Kim’s bill directing the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization.

I think it is important to note, Mr. Chairman, that Taiwan actually warned the Chinese Communist Party and the WHO that COVID was transmittable human-to-human and that warning went unheeded, sadly. And now we are in the situation we are in.

I also want to thank Representatives Connolly, Chabot, and you, Mr. Chairman, for working with me on what I think are strong amendments to help improve the Global Health Security Act. 

It is critical we apply the painful lessons learned from this pandemic so that we are better prepared in the future. I appreciate all of you for approaching such an important issue in a bipartisan manner.

I also really want to thank Mr. Connolly for working with us on a compromise text that we got to within a matter of days for his Protection of Saudi Dissidents Act. Mr. Chairman, thank you for your amendments because that is what got us to ‘yes’ on this bill. It does not prohibit in anyway Saudi’s ability to obtain weapons to defend itself.

The killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist, was an outrageous and gruesome crime. It was also a major setback for our relationship with Saudi Arabia.

This amendment will help us better use our leverage to push for improvements in the Kingdom’s human rights practices. It will also help preserve our strategic interests in the Middle East, including, as I mentioned, Saudi Arabia’s ability to defend itself against an attack from Iran. 

I’m also pleased we are considering my bill, the Promoting U.S. International Leadership in 5G Act. 

The Chinese Communist Party poses a generational threat to our country that we can no longer ignore. They are erasing ethnic groups in Xinjiang, right now, with the Muslim Uyghurs. They stole American national security data in the OPM hack, including mine, and are believed to be responsible for the Microsoft hack earlier this month.

Now, the Chinese Communist Party has designs to become the world’s technology power, especially on 5G, with their Huawei surveillance telecom program.  

To achieve their goal, the CCP is launching cyber-attacks, stealing intellectual property, and spying on our companies and research institutions. Precisely why in Houston, in my state, the consulate was shut down because they were stealing from the Texas Medical Center biomedical research, including research on the vaccine and from NASA.

They used their increased participation at standard setting bodies like the International Telecommunications Union, or ITU, to embed their technology around the world. And, with the full backing of the CCP, military companies like Huawei have gained significant global market share in 5G and are positioning themselves to gain even more.

My bill will help the United States counter China’s aggressive 5G expansion around the world by maintaining, and in some cases, increasing U.S. leadership and participation at critical international standards setting bodies for 5G. Specifically, it will allow our government to better understand the security risks posed by the CCP’s participation in 5G standard setting bodies. Setting 5G standards and increasing cooperation between the U.S. and our allies and partners puts us in the driver’s seat for the future, not the CCP.

Mr. Chairman, with that, I look forward to a healthy debate on all the measures and I want to say I think we all agree that we need to exercise our Article 1 authorities, we will be debating the AUMF, we just have a little different position on that. But as we always do, we will debate in a very civil and educational way. And thank you so much for holding this mark-up. I yield back.”