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House Republicans Call for Renewed Focus on China-Linked Cyber Attacks

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Three Republican ranking members of House committees are urging the Trump administration to take a stronger stance on reported cyber attacks from China that target critical U.S. infrastructure.

In a letter to President Trump dated July 20, Michael McCaul, R-Texas; Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., said the nation is still facing “continued malicious activity” from China but the U.S. government’s response to such attacks “was always muted.”

The letter states that China’s cyber threats “have only grown more aggressive” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with the FBI recently accusing China-linked hackers of penetrating U.S. institutions for intellectual property related to research on the novel coronavirus.

McCaul, Walden and McHenry noted that while they applaud current efforts to increase investigations into Chinese threats, the administration needs to expand authorities on sanctioning China-linked hackers to “send a clear message” to the adversary nation.

They also request a classified briefing with the Departments of the Treasury and State as well as other relevant agencies to monitor progress on mitigating China-linked attacks and discuss potential sanctions.

McCaul serves as a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee while Walden is a ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. McHenry serves as a ranking member of the Financial Services Committee.