Republicans are calling out Democrats’ opposition to limiting research funding to China, a remarkable piece of their spending plan that comes on the heels of many believing the global coronavirus pandemic originated in a Wuhan lab that received funds from the U.S.
The Republican Study Committee (RSC) found, buried in the depths of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation plan, $11 billion in funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build up research and development to compete with China.
That funding for NSF is in addition to the Endless Frontier Act that passed in the Senate in June, which combined with other funding totals $282 billion, the National Review reported.
RSC Chairman Jim Banks, R-Ind., argues the NSF does not guard against Chinese espionage and would allow funding from it to be funneled into Chinese research.
“The RSC was the first to sound the alarm about the Democrats’ Endless Frontier Act and the billions that it would give to the CCP,” Banks told the National Review in a statement.
“I’m not surprised that Democrats attempted to sneak in the worst parts of that legislation, giving $11 billion in handouts to woke universities with absolutely no guardrails preventing that funding from going straight to the CCP.”
Democrats are trimming back the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, almost by half, but this researching funding, while large, is still only a small portion of what the ultimate total will be.
Banks’ RSC has proposed the Countering Communist China Act to combat the intellectual property theft by the Chinese Communist Party.
“Democrats’ China spending bills fall short, so that’s why House conservatives are introducing our own China bill as a benchmark for how Congress should address the China threat,” Banks wrote in a statement this summer. “Their bill places a burden on taxpayers and lets China off easy, but our bill protects taxpayers and holds the Chinese Communist Party accountable.”