WASHINGTON — House Armed Services Committee member and Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Banks proposed a new rule in the House of Representatives that would strengthen the “Truth in Testimony” form required for nongovernment witnesses under House rules, requiring maximum transparency, so that Congress and the American public understand exactly how foreign agendas may be influencing the public policy discussion that takes place before House committees. The new rule would mandate anyone appearing before Congress disclose whether they receive any foreign funding before providing any testimony. Read more via Axios HERE.
The U.S. China Security and Economic Commission has noted that a number of Washington D.C. think tanks and universities have received funding from the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). One study has found at least $174 million in foreign funding to D.C. think tanks from 2014-2018 alone. Last year, the State Department, under former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s leadership, required all think tanks speaking before the State Department to disclose foreign funding.
The rule proposal has 40 original cosponsors, including RSC National Security and Foreign Affairs Task Force Chairman Rep. Joe Wilson.
“Congress works best when all the cards are face-up on the table. The Truth in Testimony rule has a long conservative tradition going back to Speaker Gingrich, and it’s past time we expose malign foreign influence and take the masks off individuals who testify before Congress while taking money from foreign countries. I urge my colleagues to pass this rule as soon as possible,” said Rep. Jim Banks.
“Policymakers in Congress need to be confident they are receiving advice that isn’t influenced or distorted by foreign or commercial interests. This bill will help ensure the dependability of the insights that Congress receives from the experts it relies upon,” said Ilan Berman, Senior Vice President, American Foreign Policy Council.
“Stand for America applauds RSC Chairman Banks and Rep. Wilson for introducing this legislation. It would close loopholes and help ensure bad actors like Communist China aren’t using congressional hearings as a way to spread their dangerous influence in America. SFA looks forward to working with the Republican Study Committee as this legislation moves through the House,” said Tim Chapman, Executive Director, Stand for America.
“Foreign adversaries like the Chinese Communist Party work every day to exploit America’s openness and advance their agendas, often surreptitiously by funding researchers who then seek to shape policy. We should not make their jobs easier. Demanding sensible disclosures from witnesses appearing before Congress regarding their financial ties to such campaigns is a welcome step toward greater transparency,” said Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) Action.
“The danger of foreign interference continually presents itself, especially with the rising influence of China. No other agendas should influence the policies or laws of the United States besides the American people. Why would we ever include the interests of our international adversaries? We must ensure the integrity of our legislative body by exposing any possible ties to foreign governments,” said Pastor Bob Fu, Founder, and President of ChinaAid