As the heat turns up in the movement to impeach Donald Trump, we’re also beginning to see the baggage of his fellow Republicans. The focus has been on Russia for awhile now, and particularly how much influence it has on the Trump administration and by extension, the GOP. As the scandals of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy come to light, however, it becomes clear that Russia may not be the only foreign country with an unsavory influence over the party.
When both parties in Congress negotiated to end the government shutdown back in January, one of the proposals on the table was a bipartisan provision that would reduce the number of Chinese companies that won contracts with the U.S. transit system. Although the provision’s purpose was to protect national security and manufacturing jobs at home, McCarthy voted against it.
One company that benefits from McCarthy’s vote is BYD Motors, which has a plant in McCarthy’s congressional district, and whose president, Stella Li, donated over $5,000 to McCarthy’s re-election campaign. According to the Washington Post, the company has been awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years, and the influence it has on transportation in the U.S. has raised concern on both sides of the aisle – particularly since the Chinese government has a measure of influence on the company.
Even though Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas authored the provision, fearing the influence the company would have on the American automotive industry, he caved to McCarthy’s demands, along with other members of Congress, to avoid prolonging the shutdown. This is just the latest example of a Republican acting against national security interests for their own gain. In the days leading up to the testimony of Robert Mueller and others, we can expect a lot more of such revelations. We may even see Republicans begin to selfishly turn against Trump in an effort to save themselves from scrutiny.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making