Written by JulieGrace Brufke
Published by The Hill
House Republicans were able to alter a $1.5 trillion Democratic-backed infrastructure bill at the eleventh hour Wednesday by including language that would block funds in the legislation from being used on contracts with Chinese state-owned companies and enterprises.
Thirty Democrats crossed the aisle to vote with GOP lawmakers in support of the measure offered by Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), which passed in a 224-193 vote.
The motion to recommit included language that would prohibit funds from going to entities responsible for building the forced labor camps that have targeted Uighur Muslims and other Muslim minority groups.
“We have a moral obligation to ensure that no government that treats its citizens this way, and none of its state-sponsored companies that help them do it benefit from the majority’s spending spree,” Crawford said on the House floor.
The infrastructure measure is not expected to advance in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Top Democrats have encouraged members of their caucus to vote against Republican-led motions to recommit, a procedural tactic the GOP has successfully used to force vulnerable Democrats to take difficult votes.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) called for lawmakers to vote against Wednesday’s GOP measure, criticizing President Trump in the process.
“You have President Trump who is cozying up to the dictator of China and now you come here and say, ‘Oh, we’re going to fix all this with this vote?'” he said on the floor.
Democrats have criticized Trump for suggesting in a recent interview that he decided not to impose sanctions against Chinese officials involved with detention camps for Uighur Muslims out of concern it would jeopardize a U.S.-China trade deal.
Wednesday’s vote was the seventh time Republicans have successfully utilized a motion to recommit since the start of the 116th Congress in January 2019.