The leaders of the House’s new select committee on China on Sunday defended Rep. Judy Chu after another lawmaker questioned her loyalty to the United States because of her Chinese heritage.
“One of my colleagues, unfortunately, attacked Judy Chu, the first Chinese American Congresswoman in the United States Congress, saying that somehow she’s not loyal to the United States. I find that offensive as an Asian American myself,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) said of criticism last week of the California Democrat by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas).
Joining Krishnamoorthi on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) agreed with him: “We should not question anybody’s loyalty to the United States. I think that is out of bounds.”
Speaking last week on Fox News, Gooden said of Chu: “I question her either loyalty or competence.” Gooden, who was responding to her defense of Biden appointee Dominic Ng, also told host Jesse Watters that Chu should be barred from access to classified information.
Chu, who was born in Los Angeles, called Gooden’s statements “racist.” “It is based on false information spread by an extreme, right-wing website,” Chu said. “Furthermore, it is racist. I very much doubt that he would be spreading these lies were I not of Chinese American descent.”
Gallagher is the chair of a new House select committee focused on China’s ruling Communist Party and Krishnamoorthi is the panel’s ranking Democrat. Both discussed the criticism of Chu in light of their committee’s mission.
“Absolutely, we shouldn’t question anybody’s loyalty,” Gallagher added. “And going forward, I think what’s critical and the reason we actually got the committee renamed to focus on the Chinese Communist Party, is to constantly make that distinction between the party and the people.”
“The Chinese Communist Party loves it when we are internally fractious and they like it when we are stereotyping. We have to avoid that,” he said.
As for the work of the committee, which is designed to examine possible threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party, Gallagher said he expects to find a certain amount of bipartisan support for its efforts.
“I want both sides in some way to look to the committee as the area for the most forward-leaning, innovative, and bipartisan policy and legislation on China,” he said.
Host Margaret Brennan asked Gallagher how the American people can be sure the panel doesn’t end up as being seen as persecuting people, as in the 1950s loyalty hearings led by Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.).
“Joseph McCarthy’s from my district, he’s buried in my district; we need not exhume his body and reanimate it,” Gallagher said, adding: “We must constantly be aware of going overboard as we try and win this competition with China.”