Wisconsin House Republican Mike Gallagher claims Biden’s pick for infrastructure czar should be disqualified from managing the $1.2 trillion spending bill. Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was an adviser for a pro-China business group tied to the Communist Party.
The Washington Examiner reports, Gallagher has urged Biden to reconsider Landrieu’s appointment because of his position as “strategic adviser” for the United States Heartland China Association (USHCA). The group is a U.S.-based trade organization that pursues Chinese investment within the U.S. and routinely collaborates with the CCP’s United Front Work Department, the Chinese government’s global foreign influence arm, which Xi Jinping has referred to as their “magic weapon.”
Rep. Gallagher's statement on President Biden's decision to select Mitch Landrieu to serve as a senior adviser and infrastructure coordinator. pic.twitter.com/uzKCc6OpdR
— Rep. Gallagher Press Office (@RepGallagher) November 16, 2021
Gallagher stated on Twitter that Landrieu should be ineligible for the position, and Biden should pick someone “who hasn’t advised an entity funded by the CCP.”
The Washington Free Beacon first reported the link between Landrieu and USHCA, a Missouri-based firm that claims to be “committed to building stronger ties” between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
Bob Holden, former Democratic governor of Missouri, is the chairman and CEO of USCHA. According to his LinkedIn page, he “helped bring the first Confucius Institute” to Webster University. Such Institutes have been considered to be part of China’s international influence efforts by the U.S government.
In a speech earlier this year at the Hong Kong Forum on U.S.-China Relations, Holden advocated for “more foreign direct investment into the Heartland.”
Additionally, he pushed for “infrastructure investment,” saying it “could be a win-win for people and cultures in our Heartland and for China.” USCHA planned the event along with the China-U.S. Exchange Foundation and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges have links to the CCP.
Holden also recently met with eight former governors, who “all agree that trade with China, student exchanges with China, investments from and into China, and tourists from China are essential to our states’ economies.”
At the 2021 U.S.-China Agriculture Roundtable, another USHCA-led event, Holden praised the “co-host,” the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and “co-organizer,” the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which the Chinese government operates. According to the State Department, the CAFFC was “tasked with co-opting subnational governments” and “has sought to directly and malignly influence state and local leaders to promote the PRC’s global agenda.” Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused CPAFFC of being a member of the United Front and claimed it “undermined” the U.S.-China Governors Forum.
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