Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Schuette: No Taxpayer Dollars Should Go to Chinese Communist Party in State Budget
RELEASE|May 3, 2023

State Representative Bill G. Schuette today offered an amendment to the proposed state budget for the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity that would help protect Michigan’s taxpayer dollars from being sent to foreign entities that seek to undermine America’s National Security.

Schuette’s amendment stated that as a condition for receiving money for any project being considered through the state’s Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund, a report must be provided to the House Appropriations Committee on any foreign persons or entities that may be involved in the project.

Schuette said this oversight is especially needed as the Chinese Communist Party increasingly is working to undermine the United States and its allies.

“Michiganders should not subsidize the Chinese Communist Party. We should not advance the Belt and Road Initiative in Michigan using taxpayer dollars,” Schuette said. “My amendment would ensure we protect our state’s economy and our national security.”

The Michigan Senate has recently worked to advance part of an $800 million incentives package for Gotion Inc.’s planned electric vehicle battery plant near Big Rapids. Gotion was founded in China in 2006 and remains one-third Chinese-owned. Zhen Li, chairman and CEO of Gotion, is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference National Committee – a high-ranking advisory body to the Chinese Communist Party.

“The first 100 days of this Legislature and our current perilous geopolitical landscape have shown that we need to do a better job of vetting our investments of taxpayer dollars,” Schuette said as he spoke to the amendment before fellow members of the House Appropriations Committee. “Michiganders should confidently know that their hard-earned funds are not being sent to foreign entities that threaten our national security and jeopardize American interests. That is why my amendment would require any project being considered for SOAR funding to have this report before it is approved.”

Current FBI Director Christopher Wray has called China the greatest long-term threat to U.S. information, intellectual property and economic vitality – and past meetings between intelligence agencies and state officials have examined the threat companies tied to the Chinese Communist Party could present to national security. A National Intelligence Law in the People’s Republic of China requires all organizations and citizens to “support, assist and cooperate with national intelligence efforts” and states that all “necessary means, tactics, and channels to carry out intelligence efforts, domestically and abroad” must be used.

The amendment was not approved by Democrat majority on the House Appropriations Committee.

“I am not surprised, but still disappointed the Democrats are unwilling to accept basic accountability in our state budget,” Schuette said. “This type of mismanagement will surely be recognized by citizens across our state.”

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