Blackburn Introduces Amendments to Counter China and Iran

February 5, 2021 Updated: February 5, 2021

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Feb. 3 introduced a number of amendments in opposition to the Democrat budget agenda focused on restricting certain activities of China and Iran.

This occurred while senators continue to debate on the 2021 budget resolution using the budget “reconciliation” process, which allows congressional Democrats to pass tax and spending bills by a simple majority vote.

Blackburn said her amendments “counteract the liberal agenda that is putting our nation on the wrong path.”

In a lengthy list of amendments, Blackburn called for a deficit-neutral reserve fund related to “preventing the support or implementation of the civil-military fusion strategy of the communist party of China.”

The senator wrote that this may include “investigation of students, professors, researchers, or programs with declared or undeclared ties to the Communist Party of China.”

Another of Blackburn’s amendments targeted China-based company Huawei, and called for the U.S. government to prohibit the acquisition of telecommunications equipment produced by the company.

Huawei Cyber Security Lab
A Huawei logo is seen at the entrance of the Huawei Cyber Security Lab at a Huawei production base during a media tour in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, China, on March 6, 2019. (Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images)

The senator’s final amendment related to any agreement between the United States and Iran and its nuclear or missile capabilities, and recommended any such agreements not move forward without formal consideration by congress.

Blackburn noted that this may include a requirement that Congress formally approve such an agreement.

In a tweet on Thursday, Blackburn said she was “fighting back against radical left policies by introducing 13 different amendments to counteract the liberal agenda that is putting our nation on the wrong path.”

“We’ve got a bakers dozen of good ideas to help clean up this bad process,” the senator said.

“One amendment would restrict China and another would prevent us from going back into the Iran nuclear deal, another would make sure that the Democrats have to get sixty votes on this budget, not do it with the simple majority.”

Earlier this week, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) placed a hold on the confirmation of President Joe Biden’s choice for Commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo, saying she has not yet clarified whether she backs keeping China-based company Huawei on a restricted trade list.

ted cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks to media in the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 28, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

The day prior, Cruz voted against approving Raimondo as Commerce secretary, saying that her “ethics issues and soft stance on China,” which included her refusal to commit to keeping Huawei on the Entity List, was “deeply troubling.”

The Trump administration previously placed Huawei on the Commerce Department’s “Entity List”—a trade blacklist—due to national security concerns.

Almost two dozen House Republicans, led by Rep. Michael McCaul (Texas), the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also released a statement earlier this week outlining the threat they say the Chinese telecom equipment giant poses to national security.

The Biden administration has yet to clarify its intentions for Huawei.