In a last-minute intervention Senate Democrats excluded a bill banning the importation of goods made by millions of people held in concentration camps by the Chinese Communist regime.
This bill, titled the Uighur Forced Labor Prevention Act, was excluded from the annual defense appropriations bill last night, according to a memo from Senate leaders, The Washington Free Beacon reported Dec. 2.
Despite the bill’s importance to human rights advocacy, and its Republican backing, it was dropped under the influence of the Biden administration, and fear of retaliation from the Chinese regime.
It should be noted that the import of large quantities of solar panels produced by companies linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is important to this administration in order to promote its agenda based on alternative energy sources.
However, it turns a blind eye to allegations that these materials are produced mainly in Xinjiang, where hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of ethnic minorities are forced to work as slaves.
Worse, U.S. Special Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry is said to have invested in the Hillhouse China Value Fund L.P., the second-largest shareholder in a solar panel manufacturing company accused of labor abuses against Uighurs.
This fund, in which Kerry invested at least $1 million, bought shares in LONGi Green Energy, and also in another technology company blacklisted by the U.S. for human rights abuses, according to The Washington Free Beacon on October 25.
For his part, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declared that such a CCP anti-slavery amendment was a “poison pill.”
“If [Rubio’s] amendment were on the bill, it would automatically kill the bill, because it would be what’s called ‘blue-slipped’ in the House, which means any bill that produces revenue must start in the House,” Schumer said.
He added, “The Rubio amendment is a poison pill in the sense that it blows up the bill.”
The Uighur Forced Labor Prevention Act passed the Senate unanimously in July but stalled in the House. Rubio reintroduced it as an amendment to the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act, from which it was excluded this time.
In this context, a senior Rubio aide alluded to the strategies employed by the Democrats to circumvent the ban, while favoring the Chinese regime at the expense of the genocide of the Uighurs and the other exploited ethnicities.
“[House Democratic leadership has] sat on this bill since July anyway, so clearly they don’t want to touch it. And this would avoid them having to strip it out … or voting to approve it, which they clearly don’t want to do,” the aide said according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Nevertheless, Sen. Rubio (R-FL) intends to withhold his vote on the upcoming vote for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), from which his bill was excluded.
The NDAA requires unanimity of senators to pass before the end of the year, otherwise, there will be a stumbling block in defense funding.