Exclusive: Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman personally told Senator Jeff Merkley the administration wants to slow down and water down the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/… @washingtonpost
The State Dept insists that it is not lobbying against the bill, but at the same time one of their top officials is communicating concerns on behalf of the administration privately to the Dem senator co-sponsor, which is not exactly supporting the bill, is it. That's the nuance.
Meanwhile, Pelosi is claiming to be a strong supporter of the bill, but even after she brings the House to the floor next week, there's no plan to get it reconciled with the Senate. And Pelosi's office told it still might get wrapped into a larger China bill package. Clear as mud
The whole debate over the "blue slip" issue is a red herring, IMHO, because its not really a dispute over procedure. The House could pass the senate bill tomorrow. It's a dispute about policy and priorities, but nobody wants to own up to that.
As I wrote:

"Pelosi has been a champion for human rights in China for decades, but the fight is not over and the ball is in her court. Overall, it’s up to both parties and both chambers to act to stop a genocide now. There’s no good reason to delay."
Interestingly, Merkley requested the call with Sherman, not the other way around. That’s why the admin says it’s not actively lobbying. Just telling the senators they would prefer the bill were different if and when they ask.

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More from @joshrogin

16 Nov
SCOOP: Biden administration soon to announce diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/… by me @washingtonpost
This diplomatic boycott is intended as a way to respond to the Chinese government’s human rights abuses without impacting U.S. athletes... Biden is expected to approve it before the end of the month.


#Beijing2022 #BoycottBeijingOlympics
.@SpeakerPelosi had advocated for this diplomatic boycott. In a may hearing she said: “Honor your athletes at home. Let’s have a diplomatic boycott. … Silence on this issue is unacceptable. It enables China’s abuses.” washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/…
Read 6 tweets
16 Nov
Xi Jinping's opening remarks to Biden, per pooler @DCCorrespondent:

"Good to see you Mr. President and your colleagues in the first time for us to meet virtually. Although we can’t see each other face to face, this is not bad, either. I feel very happy to see my old friend..."
@DCCorrespondent "...Right now both China & the US are at critical stages of development. And when we face multiple challenges together as the world's two largest economies and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, China & the US, we need to increase communication & cooperation..."
@DCCorrespondent "...We should each focus on domestic affairs while at the same time should share a large share of international responsibilities & work together to advance the cause of world peace and development. This is a shared desire of the people of our two countries & around the world..."
Read 5 tweets
26 Oct
Everyone should watch this @PamelaBrownCNN interview with outgoing @NIHDirector Francis Collins to see how Collins uses misleading talking points to avoid any acknowledgement NIH was caught completely unaware its grantee was doing risky bat coronavirus research in Wuhan.

Brown repeatedly presses Collins to explain how NIH could not know FOR TWO YEARS that its own contractor @EcoHealthNYC had done research making bat coronaviruses more infectious to humans, and Collins uses every rhetoric trick to dissemble and distract... I'll explain...
Fauci claimed no "Gain of Function research was being funded in Wuhan.

Brown to Collins: “How could [Fauci] say that when you are just now finding out that US taxpayer dollars were being used to pay for this risky research in that Wuhan lab two years ago?" GOOD QUESTION
Read 19 tweets
14 Oct
New: The Iran deal is dead. Where is Biden’s Plan B? washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/… by me @PostOpinions
The Iran nuclear deal is likely dead for good... But if the Biden team has a follow-up plan to prevent Iran from going nuclear, it’s a well-kept secret. And time is not on America’s side.

.@USEnvoyIran @Rob_Malley acknowledged Iran shows no interest in returning to the Vienna talks.

“We have to prepare for a world … where Iran doesn’t have constraints on its nuclear program and we have to consider options for dealing with that..."

Read 6 tweets
16 Sep
New: Milley is neither a traitor nor the savior of the Republic washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/… by me @PostOpinions
The truth is more complicated than either Milley’s attackers or defenders admit. First of all, Milley was not freelancing — for the simple reason that the calls were not his idea.

“Milley was absolutely not going rogue."

Esper and Milley had the authority to do what they did. But the White House concern was that they were undermining the White House China team’s messaging and actions vis-a-vis Beijing.

Read 6 tweets
15 Sep
NEW statement from Milley spokesman Col. Dave Butler:

“The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs regularly communicates with Chiefs of Defense across the world, including with China and Russia..."

2/? "...These conversations remain vital to improving mutual understanding of U.S. national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict..."
3/? "...His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability..."
Read 7 tweets

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