Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) explained her reasoning for not voting for the bipartisan House of Representatives’ select committee on China this week, even as 146 members of her own party joined Republicans to do so.
“I voted no because again it’s another sham effort here. It’s really clear that this is just a committee that would further embolden anti-Asian rhetoric and hate and put lives at risk,” Pressley told CNN on Thursday. “We have enough infrastructure and governance to tackle those issues that we don’t need this select committee and that is why I voted no, because I am afraid that it will embolden anti-Asian rhetoric and hate.”
“So do you think the 146 Democrats who voted ‘yes’ on it are wrong in their votes?” CNN anchor Kaitlin Collins asked.
“We just see it differently,” Pressley answered.
On Tuesday, the House came together to establish the select committee centering on China in a 365 to 65 vote. The move creates the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.
“Here’s the good news: There is bipartisan consensus that the era of trusting communist China is over,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday on the floor of the House.
“I’ve heard my colleagues on both sides say that the threat posed by Communist China is serious. I fully agree,” McCarthy noted. “This is an issue that transcends political parties. And creating the select committee on China is our best avenue for addressing it.”
“We want the very best ideas, and it doesn’t matter where they come from. At the end of the day, we won’t need a minority and majority report. We’ll just need one philosophy, with one principle, and America will be stronger for the future to come,” he said.
“You have my word and my commitment. This is not a partisan committee. This will be a bipartisan committee,” McCarthy noted.
“House Democrats have been clear that we are willing to extend the hand of bipartisan partnership on issues where we can work together for the American people, and will also stand up against extremism where necessary,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said in a statement after the vote.
“As it relates to the new Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, House Democrats will work in a serious, sober and strategic manner to evaluate our relationship with the Chinese government and to address the rise of authoritarianism globally,” he added.