The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to establish a subcommittee to investigate U.S.-China strategic competition.
The measure passed with bipartisan support in a 365-65 vote. Wisconsin GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher will likely chair the committee.
Chinese influence in the U.S. has been a major concern for Republicans and the panel’s creation represents the start to a critical part of the GOP legislative agenda.
“I’ve heard my colleagues on both sides say that the threat posed by Communist China is serious. I fully agree,” said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, according to The Hill. “This is an issue that transcends political parties. And creating the select committee on China is our best avenue for addressing it.”
Florida Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz was one of the more vocal supporters of the measure from across the aisle.
“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,” he told The Hill when announcing his support for the panel. “We should never again be dependent on other countries in order to protect American citizens.”
Scrutiny of Chinese activities has provided a rare point of bipartisan activity in recent years, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle pointing to the security threat posed by Chinese digital and cyber activities in particular.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution to bar Chinese social media platform TikTok from federal devices last year amid concerns over the relationship between Beijing and TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. In December, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a plan to ban the app from operating in the U.S. outright.
Moreover, many Republican and Democratic governors have moved to ban the app from state devices.