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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced a new "China Task Force" on Thursday that will work to develop legislative policies to curtail Chinese influence.

Why it matters: The global coronavirus pandemic has made it more apparent "for the need for a national strategy to deal with China, McCarthy said. The committee of 15 Republicans was originally supposed to include Democrats, but the party reportedly withdrew without explanation in February.

  • Sources told the Washington Post's Josh Rogin that there was at first a dispute among Democrats over who would be on the committee, but they later decided not to participate at all because the China issue has become too politicized in the coronavirus era.
  • “We are very cognizant of the need to hold China accountable for its actions,” a senior Democratic aide told the Post. “But to the extent this is going to be the Trump administration’s scapegoat for its utter failure, we are not going to go along with that.”

The big picture: The coronavirus crisis is threatening the bipartisan consensus that the U.S. needs a China policy that acknowledges Beijing's hard authoritarian turn and the serious challenge China's growing power presents to U.S. interests.

Details: The task force will work to develop a legislative strategy regarding China's influence inside the U.S., export control, foreign investment screening, presence in American universities and more.

  • Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), a ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, will serve as chairman of the task force.
  • Other members include Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).

Go deeper: D.C.'s bipartisan China consensus may be unraveling

Go deeper

McConnell announces Senate will adjourn until Sept. 8

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Thursday that the Senate will not hold any more votes until Sept. 8, though members will remain on 24-hour notice in case a coronavirus stimulus deal is reached.

Why it matters: With millions of Americans unemployed, the Trump administration and Democrats remain hopelessly deadlocked and unlikely to reach a deal any time soon.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

3 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.