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Rep. Cheney: We Must Take Action Against China To Ensure We Are Not Held Hostage, Blackmailed

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REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Thank you all for being here and I know we have members of the press joining us on the phone as well. First of all, let me just say that we all are praying for the families who have lost people because of the virus. We thank all Americans for all of the sacrifices that you’re making, that we’re all making, and the sacrifices that you will make. We would like to be in a position where we could say that the road out of this is going to be easy or going to be fast, but it won’t be. It won’t be over tomorrow. It’s going to be difficult and it’s going to be hard, but we will make it through because we are Americans. We are a great nation, we’re the greatest nation that has ever existed, and great nations are not paralyzed by sickness. Together we have a job to do, and it’s a job that includes ensuring that this never happens again. And it’s a job that we in Congress must be convened to do. After 9/11, we had to make major policy changes in this country. We now face a similar challenge. We must make the kinds of changes that we know are necessary because of the vulnerabilities that this pandemic has exposed. We cannot be reliant on the Chinese Communist Party for our pharmaceuticals. We cannot be in a position where they can blackmail us. This is an issue that we’ve discussed for a long time, but the moment that the Chinese Communist Party state news agency suggested that they would withhold medications that the United States might need in order to counter and fight COVID-19, the world changed. We must take action and we must take action now to ensure that we are not held hostage and to ensure that we are not blackmailed. Taking action as a government requires that the People’s House function. For us as the Representatives of the people in our government, the most direct Representatives of the people, not to have been here, not to have been functioning, not to have been called into session for weeks and weeks now is simply unacceptable. So we call on the Speaker of the House to work in a bipartisan fashion – and a bipartisan fashion, I would just point out, doesn’t mean just consulting with our Leader, Kevin McCarthy. It means getting the concurrence of the Minority Leader, getting the concurrence of the Republicans for any changes they want to make. But we must make changes. We must recognize that we have to be able to function, we have to be able to deliberate, we have to recognize the new environment in which we are operating. I am confident that we will be able to do that. I am confident that we will finally be able to pass this [Paycheck Protection Program] — the program that’s been delayed now unnecessarily for so long, a program on which there’s no disagreement about the importance of this program, but we’ve watched the blocks by the Democrats and we’ve watched the delays and it’s now time to stop. It’s time to pass this program that’s going to provide the kinds of support and assistance the people of this country need.

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