The United States of America stands as a beacon of freedom and a living testament to the Founding Fathers’ belief in a country built upon the principles of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Over the past century, the United States has led the world in defeating authoritarian regimes and advancing democracy and human rights. However, despite the defeat of Nazism and the end of the Cold War, not all countries share our goals to uphold and defend natural and inalienable rights. Since its founding 100 years ago, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has committed countless gross violations of human rights, oppressed its citizens, and deprived them of their basic God-given liberties. Increasingly, the CCP is working to export this totalitarian model abroad. To defend our country and our values, we must expose and discredit the CCP in the eyes of the world.

For over a year, House Republicans have led the effort in Congress to counter the CCP’s malign actions and shed light on its culpability for the COVID-19 pandemic. Regrettably, our Democrat colleagues have failed to join us and hold China accountable. Unless the Biden administration and congressional Democrats get serious, the CCP will continue to gain considerable influence around the world. Inaction by Washington Democrats will only bolster the CCP’s rise as a global superpower that carries out an oppressive ideology.

Four million people around the globe have died from COVID, including 600,000 Americans. With every one of those deaths, there are still families and loved ones who are mourning. From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, House Republicans demanded answers about how this virus started, and will keep pushing to investigate the CCP’s coverup. A recent survey conducted by POLITICO and Harvard shows that 52 percent of Americans believe the virus from a lab in China. However, Speaker Pelosi refuses to join with Republicans and search for the truth. The CCP has been quick to label those who have questioned the Party’s narrative over COVID origins as xenophobes, conspiracy theorists, and alarmists. Unfortunately, all too many in the media have been quick to echo these charges. But there is mounting scientific evidence that COVID-19 originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in Wuhan, China, and that gain-of-function research could have been used to make the virus more infectious.

The CCP must answer questions about COVID-19 origins, and the Biden administration must hold the CCP accountable for refusing to comply with a non-partisan, international investigation. Last month, House Republicans held a forum, “Led By Science: The COVID-19 Origin Story.” Our expert witnesses testified that the CCP took malicious actions to conceal the origins of COVID-19. Congress must provide leadership in the COVID origins investigation, but Democrats have refused to participate in Republican efforts to hold the CCP accountable.

Just last week, House Democrats on the Foreign Affairs Committee overwhelmingly rejected Congressman Gallagher’s bill that would impose consequences on the CCP. This legislation authorizes sanctions and other restrictions on CCP-affiliated scientists if the Party fails to allow a transparent, international investigation into the WIV. The legislation would also prohibit any gain-of-function research cooperation between any Chinese individuals and institutions and any individual or institution in the United States that receives federal funding. With what we know so far about COVID origins and the CCP’s coverup, it is unfathomable that Democrats continue to obstruct meaningful action to hold the CCP accountable.

The CCP’s cover-up, lies, and culpability for the ongoing pandemic are only a preview of the world under its leadership. Make no mistake: the CCP has a clear plan to overtake the United States, under a timetable far more aggressive than many Americans assume. Chinese defense spending has increased by nearly 600 percent in the last 20 years, with the majority going to weapons and capabilities directly designed to offset the American military. Recently, China boasted about driving away a U.S. Navy ship that was upholding freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

As former Indo-Pacom Commander Philip S. Davidson has warned, we could have only six years before an attempted Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Despite this looming threat, President BidenJoe BidenBiden says wages will need to increase to solve recruitment problems Caitlyn Jenner pledges to support Trump if he makes another bid for the White House Biden: Republicans who say Democrats want to defund the police are lying MORE sees fit to hit the Pentagon with an inflation-adjusted budget cut while providing reckless increases to domestic spending. Even worse, the Pentagon’s budget fails to make even modest investment requested by Adm. Philip Davidson to establish a more lethal, hardened, and dispersed military posture in the Indo-Pacific. Congress must provide the sense of urgency the administration lacks to make clear to both our allies and the Chinese Communist Party that America will make the defense investments necessary to deter and if necessary, defeat the People’s Liberation Army.

Since our founding, the United States has been a beacon of hope for those seeking freedom. Yet freedom itself is under threat globally from the CCP. President Biden and Speaker Pelosi’s weak leadership is failing to rise to the moment and is empowering the Chinese Communist Party to advance its malicious agenda without fear of the consequences. Congress must lead and hold the CCP accountable for unleashing COVID-19, stand against the Chinese Communist Party’s horrific human rights abuses, and deter Chinese aggression. There is no time to lose and despite President Biden and congressional Democrats’ blunders, Republicans will remain steadfast in countering the CCP’s ruthless pursuit of power.

Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseHouse committee approves slate of bills to improve telecom security Greene: Reporter’s question about vaccination status ‘a violation of my HIPAA rights’ The Hill’s Morning Report – High-profile COVID-19 infections spark new worries MORE is the House Republican whip and Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherOfficials warn of cybersecurity vulnerabilities in water systems Milwaukee alderwoman launches Senate bid There’s ‘something wrong with our bloody ships today’ MORE represents the 8th District of Wisconsin and is a member of the Armed Services Committee.

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