Sen. Cruz Called on Colleagues to Vote Against Raimondos Nomination, Stop Embrace of China, and Defend U.S. Interests
Warned against the Biden administrations embrace of the Chinese Communist Party, raised concerns with Commerce Secretary nominee Gina Raimondo
March 2, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Commerce and Foreign Relations Committees, today delivered remarks on the Senate Floor outlining Democrats' embrace, led by President Biden, of the Chinese Communist Party and urged his colleagues to vote against Commerce Secretary nominee Gina Raimondo. Highlights of Sen. Cruz's remarks are below.
WATCH: Cruz Delivers Floor Remarks Opposing Gina Raimondo's Nomination
On voting against Gov. Raimondo for Secretary of Commerce, Sen. Cruz said:
"This appears to be a part of a pattern of a systematic decision to embrace Communist China. If that is indeed the direction the Biden administration is going, I hope that members of both parties who have seen the threat posed by Communist China will urge the president, will urge the cabinet, [and] will urge this administration [to] stop the embrace of Communist China. Defend the interests of the United States of America. Because she [Gov. Raimondo] was not willing to make these commitments, I will be voting against the confirmation of Governor Raimondo. And I encourage my colleagues to do the same."
On China's censorship and lies surrounding the COVID-19 virus, Sen. Cruz said:
"We're a year into a deadly pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China. The Chinese Communist Party censored and disappeared doctors and journalists who were trying to tell the truth about how the coronavirus was spreading, and the Chinese Communist Party lied to the world about the nature of the virus. Over two and a half million people worldwide have died, including over a half million Americans. The Chinese Communist Party's lies and censorship and propaganda didn't stop with the pandemic."
On Gov. Raimondo's lack of transparency on China during her Senate confirmation hearing, Sen. Cruz said:
"One important thing the Department of Commerce does is maintain an Entity List, which is a list of foreign parties and companies that engage in activities contrary to American national security interests. [...] When Governor Raimondo came before the Senate Commerce Committee in January, I asked her if she would keep those Chinese technologies companies on the Entity List. She refused to make that commitment. In fact, she wouldn't even commit to keeping Huawei on the Entity List, which is unabashedly an espionage agency of the Chinese Communist Party.
"In questions for the record, I gave Governor Raimondo a second chance to clearly and explicitly answer these questions, and yet she still refused. Similarly, the Governor provided vague non-answers or no answers at all in response to questions for the record on her ethics problems and her conflicts of interest as governor. As my colleagues know, nominees will never be more engaged, more transparent, or more forthcoming than during their confirmation process. That Governor Raimondo has refused to be any one of these speaks volumes to how she would act if confirmed as secretary.
"The fact of the matter is that there has been a rush to embrace the worst elements of the Chinese Communist Party in the Biden administration. And that includes Governor Raimondo. That's why I placed a hold on her confirmation, and it's why I will be voting not to confirm her to lead the Department of Commerce."
On China's widespread use of technology companies for global espionage, Sen. Cruz said:
"I recognize that there's a lot of pressure from Big Business and Big Tech to get in bed with China. That is profoundly contrary to American interests. Now, we're just about six weeks into the Biden presidency, and the Biden administration has already been keen on lifting the restrictions on Huawei since the very first week. Where will we be six months from now? A year from now? Prohibiting the use of platforms like Huawei and safeguarding American technology from being exploited by Chinese espionage infrastructure are commonsense measures to protect American national security. It would have been a very simple matter for Governor Raimondo to commit to keeping Huawei on the Entity List. It would have been a very simple matter for Governor Raimondo to commit to keeping the Chinese technology companies that I urged be added to the list - keeping them on the list. She refused to do so repeatedly."
WATCH: Sen. Cruz's Q&A with Commerce Secretary Nominee Gina Raimondo at Senate Commerce Committee
Watch Sen. Cruz's full remarks here.