The leaders of a new House committee on China condemned GOP Rep. Lance Gooden of Texas on Sunday for his questioning of Rep. Judy Chu’s loyalty to the U.S.
“One of my colleagues, unfortunately, attacked Judy Chu, the first Chinese American congresswoman in the United States Congress, saying that somehow she’s not loyal to the United States. I find that offensive as an Asian American myself,” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, the ranking Democrat on the panel, said in response to Gooden’s comments in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, the GOP chair of the China panel, who appeared with Krishnamoorthi on CBS, similarly called out Gooden’s comments.
“We should not question anybody’s loyalty to the United States. I think that is out of bounds. It’s beyond the pale,” Gallagher said.
In an interview on Fox News last week, Gooden suggested Chu, D-Calif., should not have a security clearance or access to classified briefings. Chu had defended Dominic Ng, a Biden appointee featured in an article by the conservative Daily Caller that alleged Ng has ties to a Chinese Communist Party front group.
Gooden said that he thinks Chu “needs to be called out” and that he questioned her “loyalty or competence.”
“If she doesn’t realize what’s going on, then she’s totally out of touch with one of her core constituencies,” he said. “I’m really disappointed and shocked that someone like Judy Chu would have a security clearance and entitled to confidential intelligence briefings until this is figured out.”
Chu pushed back against Gooden’s comments, which she said were “absolutely outrageous.”
“It is based on false information spread by an extreme, right-wing website. Furthermore, it is racist. I very much doubt that he would be spreading these lies were I not of Chinese American descent,” said Chu, the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress.
Gooden, a third-term lawmaker who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, was joined Feb. 15 by five other House Republicans in asking the FBI to investigate Ng, the CEO of East West Bank in California, whom President Joe Biden appointed last year to be the chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council.
Chu and other members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus — Democratic Reps. Grace Meng of New York and Ted Lieu of California and Mark Takano of California — rebuked their GOP colleagues days later in a joint statement.
“As with every presidential appointee, Dominic Ng, who is Chinese American, has undergone an extensive vetting process and sworn an oath to support and defend the Constitution and serve the American public,” they said. “No Chinese Americans — indeed no Americans — should face suspicions of disloyalty or treason based on their ethnicity, nation of origin, or that of their family members.”