Anti-China Bill Stalls Out As Committee Chairman’s Alma Mater Is Put At Risk

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Legislation cracking down on funding for Chinese Communist Party-affiliated organs has stalled out in a congressional committee with a chair whose district could be financially harmed by the bill.

Republican New York Rep. Brandon Williams introduced the Stop Funding Our Adversaries Act in March. The legislation would prohibit any federal agency from “directly or indirectly conduct[ing] or support[ing], through grants, subgrants, contracts, cooperative agreements or other funding vehicles, research that will be conducted by” the Chinese government, the Chinese Communist Party, and their affiliated organizations. It has 14 cosponsors and was previously introduced in the 117th Congress.

The Stop Funding Our Adversaries Act is not scheduled for a markup in the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, despite “protecting our research from theft by the Chinese Communist Party” being a high priority for chairman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, committee staffers told the Daily Caller. One GOP staffer in contact with the committee, however, told the Daily Caller that committee staffers and members worried that the legislation would impact programs funded by the committee.

A Science, Space, and Technology Committee staffer referred the Daily Caller to a Government Accountability Office report released in September 2022. The report notes that the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, the two federal agencies under the committee’s purview, did not provide “awards directly to Chinese entities.” 

Although neither government agency provides funds to Chinese entities directly, both have steered money to the country through a series of subgrants and partnerships. The Department of Energy gave a $750,000 grant to the Rocky Mountain Institute, a green energy non-profit, to develop electric vehicles. The firm has partnered with the Chinese government in the past, and one of its board members previously served as chairman of a Chinese government-controlled investment firm.

Congressional Republicans, including Lucas, have also raised concerns with a $200 million Energy Department grant to Microvast, a battery manufacturer that operates extensively in China.

“Microvast itself discloses that the Chinese government ‘exerts substantial influence over the manner in which we must conduct our business activities and may intervene, at any time and with no notice.’ Nearly 80% of Microvast’s assets are located in China and 61% of its revenue last year originated in China,” Lucas wrote to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in December 2022.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has repeatedly offered grants to scientists who were later found to have ties with China. Mingqing Xiao, a math professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, was convicted in 2022 of filing false tax statements. Xiao, who received $151,099 from NSF, was simultaneously on the payroll of Shenzhen University and the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong. NSF clawed back $7.9 million in 2021 from 23 grantees who did not disclose ties to China, but admitted that it could not investigate every single complaint it received.

“The incident of the Chinese surveillance balloon and other recent provocative actions taken by the CCP have raised grave concerns over allowing them to continue to conduct scientific research funded by the U.S. This bill’s primary objective is to protect American interests, safety, and intellectual property,” Taylor Weyeneth, Williams’ communications director, said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “Rep. Williams introduced the Stop Funding Our Adversaries Act in a move to end the funding of cooperative agreements or any other mechanisms for research by the Chinese government or any CCP agents.”


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