Walorski Calls for Coronavirus Committee to Focus on Safely Reopening Economy, Holding China Accountable

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Walorski Calls for Coronavirus Committee to Focus on Safely Reopening Economy, Holding China Accountable

Highlights Unanswered Questions About China’s Actions as Democrats Harass U.S. Businesses for Saving Jobs

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today called for the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis to focus on safely getting America back to work and holding China accountable, rather than conducting partisan investigations and scoring political points.

During the panel’s first public hearing, Walorski highlighted questions about China’s actions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic that have gone unanswered even as Democrats in the subcommittee’s first official action sent harassing letters to American businesses trying to save the jobs of steelworkers, welders, and truck drivers.

Video of Congresswoman Walorski speaking can be found here, and her remarks as prepared are below.

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

“Right now we should be working together to defeat coronavirus. But it’s important for the American people to know that Democrats have continually sought to divide us.

“Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have thrown wrenches into negotiations over and over, pushing for abortion funding and the Green New Deal, while families and small businesses waited desperately for much needed help.

“It’s not hard to see the partisan politics at work today. We’re here on a subcommittee that was created with only Democrat votes, for a briefing that was announced at the last minute unilaterally by Democrats, with witnesses selected only by Democrats. This is the tone that’s being set. This is crazy. The way this has been rolled out, one could be forgiven for mistaking it for a reboot of the partisan impeachment debacle that this country went through, wasting hundreds of hours and multiple millions of dollars of the American people’s tax money.

“The American people deserve better than this. If Democrats were truly concerned about oversight, they would let the already-robust roster of oversight bodies do their work. In Congress alone, there are House and Senate standing committees, as well as the Congressional Oversight Commission, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, and the GAO. That’s not to mention all the agency inspectors general, the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission. The last thing the coronavirus oversight effort needed was another committee.

“What we do need is a real effort to hold accountable those responsible for this crisis. Last week, Democrats walked away from forming a bipartisan China Task Force. What did they decide was more important? Bullying American companies for having the audacity to use PPP loans – in compliance with the law – to save thousands of jobs for steelworkers, welders, and truck drivers. At a time when an estimated 100,000 small businesses have closed permanently, Democrats on this subcommittee made it their first priority to try to make it impossible for American companies trying to keep their head above water.

“Why is that more important than figuring out why Chinese doctors and citizens that tried to alert the world about coronavirus keep disappearing? Or why the Chinese government is slowing down the international scientific effort to trace the origins of the virus? Or why China is sending counterfeit and faulty personal protective equipment and testing supplies to the U.S. and all over the world? Or why China is trying to hack the heroes working on a coronavirus vaccine? Or how China co-opted the World Health Organization? The list goes on, but the point remains the same: Why do Democrats think it’s more important to harass American companies than hold China accountable?

“Mr. Chairman, I can’t help but wonder: Where are we going with all this? What’s going to differentiate this subcommittee from the dozens of other oversight bodies, aside from blatant, blind partisanship and shoddy, hastily-written letters?

“I hope we can do better. I hope we put a premium on substantive work over scoring political points. The American people deserve it. I yield back.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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