In January, when the House stood up the only congressional committee focused on a single country—China—it gave the panel the unenviable task of de-risking the United States from its foremost geoeconomic rival.
The committee's objectives are centered on closing the urgency gap that exists between policymakers in Washington and the people they serve, while ideally flipping a few skeptics along the way. Over the next 20 months, two dozen lawmakers from the 118th Congress will be responsible for an extensive public awareness campaign that could have a lasting impact on the voting public come 2024.
"In the D.C. bubble, experts tend to assume the average American agrees with their premise. I'm not convinced we've done a good enough job explaining why someone in Wisconsin or Illinois should care about the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party and how it affects their daily life. Answering the 'why' is a core task for the select committee," said Rep. Mike Gallagher, the Wisconsin Republican leading the new panel.
China's long-ruling party "poses a threat to all Americans, not just Republicans and not just Democrats," Gallagher, 38, told Newsweek. "There is broad consensus in Congress on the need to confront the CCP threat and deter further CCP aggression, though members may disagree on how best to do this."