Senate Foreign Relations Committee Overwhelmingly Approves Bill That Orders Assessment Into Lab Leak Theory

Joe Biden signing order

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee overwhelmingly approved a wide-ranging and bipartisan bill on Wednesday that lays out a unified strategic approach towards the threat China poses to America’s national and economic security.

Among the measures in the 281-page Strategic Competition Act of 2021 is a provision ordering the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to produce a report assessing the likelihood that COVID-19 could have entered the human population due to a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and other origins theories such as zoonotic transmission and spillover.

“It is critical to understand the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic so the United States can better prepare, prevent and respond to pandemic health threats in the future,” the bill states. “Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all Americans, the American people deserve to know what information the United States possesses about the origins of COVID-19, as appropriate.”

Read More

Senate Preps Bill to Check China’s ‘Aggressive and Assertive Behavior’

A Senate committee plans to review major legislation that proposes to curb China’s increasingly aggressive behavior attempting to expand its influence.

The Strategic Competition Act of 2021 would boost the ability for the U.S. to respond to China’s “aggressive and assertive foreign policy,” according to the text of the bill released by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez on Thursday. The 281-page bipartisan legislation is the first proposal from both Democrats and Republicans that lays out a strategy to defend against Chinese aggression.

“The United States must ensure that all Federal departments and agencies are organized to reflect the fact that strategic competition with the [People’s Republic of China] is the United States top foreign policy priority,” the legislation states.

Read More