The 117th United States Congress which convened in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2021, during the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency and the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency ended on January 3, 2023. A search on Congress.gov pulls up a total of 4,268 action items initiated on China and issues related to China by the 117th Congress. In comparison the 116th Congress shows a record of 3,834 legislative actions on issues related to China. Congressional actions include bills, resolutions, congressional record, legislations that became law, committee publications. committee meetings, house and senate communications and nominations.
2,198 of the activities were initiated by the Senate, 1927 by the House and 26 were joint. 847 legislations were introduced. 131 were considered by the relevant committee. 89 were considered by the floor. 81 passed one chamber while 18 passed both chambers. Differences were being resolved on 10 legislative items. 14 legislations made it to the President and became law.
There are 1,168 action items that mention democracy, human rights and freedom in China; 830 on Taiwan; 431 on Hong Kong; 399 related to Uyghurs; 129 on Tibet; and 25 that mention the people of Southern Mongolia.
Legislations that either became law or passed both chambers included:
- H.R.6256. “To ensure that goods made with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China do not enter the United States market, and for other purposes.”
- S.812. “A bill to direct the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization, and for other purposes.”
- H.R.2617. “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023” which includes over $1.8 billion to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific to help counter the growing influence of the People’s Republic of China in developing Countries; and $2.9 billion to advance democracy programs and counter authoritarian influence. The FY2023 spending bill also includes $325 million for Countering PRC Influence Fund; $21 million for Tibetan communities in Tibet and in South Asia; and $5,000,000 for democracy and Internet freedom programs for Hong Kong, including legal and other support for democracy activists.