Coronavirus Subcommittee Republicans criticize Democrats for attacking American businesses instead of holding China accountable

Published: May 18, 2020

Last week, Republicans on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis laid out their bipartisan vision for what the panel should focus on: safely reinvigorating America’s economy and holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its actions.

This contrasts starkly with the approach taken by the Select Subcommittee’s Democrats, who have so far charted a blatantly partisan course that would put American steelworkers, welders, and truckers out of work by attacking their employers’ Paycheck Protection Program loans and holding a one-sided virtual briefing with no minority witnesses or input.

Here’s what select subcommittee Republicans had to say:

“The first act of this Subcommittee was to attack blue-collar Americans,” said Select Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Scalise. “These were the very people we were trying to help and, in fact, they’re right now living in fear because if their companies return the money — and I’ve spoken to these companies — if they had to return the money today, after they followed all the rules that we all voted for, they would have to lay off hundreds of workers each … attacking blue-collar workers is not what we should be doing.”

Scalise added that we “should be holding China accountable for what they did, and unfortunately that is not happening.”

“The very first action this Committee took to restructure things was to send a letter, as Ranking Member Scalise mentioned, to send a letter to Universal Stainless and try to put steelworkers in … Pennsylvania and Ohio … in the unemployment line,” said Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan. “The second action this committee took was this unfair hearing itself. Didn’t follow the rules, didn’t give proper notice, didn’t give the briefing memo, didn’t give us any witnesses, didn’t even ask the Republicans who we might like for a witness. Why? Why do we set up a partisan committee? Why do we have an unfair process? Because I don’t think that the majority party likes the facts.”

“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,” said Rep. Jackie Walorski.

“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?”

“As the President said, we’re at war with an invisible enemy, and we all must work together to ensure as many Americans as possible are healthy, safe, and able to provide for their families,” said Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer. “Unfortunately, instead of acknowledging that a non-partisan human health and economic crisis deserves a non-partisan Congressional response, we find ourselves in a committee proceeding eerily similar to those the House majority forced the country to endure for months in 2019.”

“Instead of attacking American businesses for their taking of PPP loans, we should be looking at China, their role in this,” said Rep. Mark Green. “From day one, China’s lies and deception have severely hampered the global response. New data suggest that had China notified the world just one week prior, 66% of the lives lost could have been saved. That’s 56,000 dead Americans. Because China lied, Americans died. Yet, the first action of this committee is to attack American businesses?”

Background:

  • The first official action the Democrat majority Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis took was to send multiple harassing letters to American businesses for legally taking Paycheck Protection Program loans that they all voted for in the first place.
  • In their haste, Democrats apparently failed to do due diligence, as their demands for the companies to return the loans would result in significant job losses.
  • Wednesday’s virtual briefing and witnesses were put together without any input from the Select Subcommittee’s Republicans.
  • Wednesday’s virtual briefing did not have to be conducted remotely. As Republican Members of the Select Subcommittee demonstrated, it would have been possible for all 12 Members of the panel to have gathered while still observing social distancing guidelines.