House China panel leaders denounce heritage-based attack on Rep. Judy Chu

Washington — The leaders of a new House select committee on China defended Democratic Rep. Judy Chu on Sunday, saying it was abhorrent and unacceptable for a GOP lawmaker to question her loyalty to the United States based on 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,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the ranking Democrat on the panel, about the comments last week from Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas.

Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher, the Republican chair of the China panel who appeared Sunday with Krishnamoorthi on the CBS News broadcast “Face the Nation,” said Gooden was out of line.

“We should not question anybody’s loyalty to the United States,” Gallagher said. “That is out of bounds. It’s beyond the pale.”

Congress Loyalty
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., stands before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., signs H.R. 3525, the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture Act during a ceremony on Capitol Hill, June 7, 2022, in Washington. 

Alex Brandon / AP

In a Fox News interview last week, Gooden criticized Chu for her defense of Biden economic appointee Dominic Ng, who the president named to the business advisory council of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Gooden questioned either Chu’s “loyalty or competence.” He also suggested that Chu, a California Democrat, shouldn’t have a security clearance or access to classified briefings.

Chu, the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, was born in Los Angeles. She called Gooden’s comments “racist,” saying the attacks on her and Ng relied on false information from right-wing media.

On Sunday, Gallagher said his bipartisan committee, which is officially called the “Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party” was named as such to “to constantly make that distinction between the party and the people.”

“We must constantly be aware of going overboard as we try and win this competition with China,” he said.

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