What to Know in Washington: House to Drop NDAA China Curbs

Bloomberg Government subscribers get the stories like this first. Act now and gain unlimited access to everything you need to know. Learn more.

House Prepares to Drop China Investment Curbs From Defense Bill

Congressional negotiators are poised to abandon plans to use the annual National Defense Authorization Act to tighten controls on investment in Chinese technology.

House Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) is effectively blocking a measure that would require firms to notify the government about certain investments in China and other countries of concern, people familiar with the discussions said yesterday. The amendment aligns with an executive order by President Joe Biden to curb spending on high-tech sectors in the world’s second-largest economy.

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) speaks to members of the media as he leaves the Capitol.

The Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure as part of its version of the must-pass defense bill earlier this year, but it faces strong opposition in the House from McHenry, who has long opposed broad investment restrictions in favor of targeting individual companies. McHenry not only holds an influential gavel but also a seat on the conference committee that’s forging the final version of the defense bill.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said he continues to work with McHenry in good faith but that the necessary vehicle might be his own standalone outbound investment bill with Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), the top Democrat on the panel.

Unless McHenry changes his tune or is overruled by House Speaker Mike Johnson, there’s likely no path forward for the measure in this Congress, leaving the Biden administration to set the country’s policy on capital flows to China. The president’s August executive order on the issue is likely to take effect next year. Read the full story from Mackenzie Hawkins and Daniel Flatley.


  • The president leaves Denver for Pueblo, Colo., after 1 p.m. where he’ll visit the the largest wind tower manufacturer in the world around 2:30 p.m. and deliver remarks around 3:30 p.m.
  • Biden will leave Colorado shortly after 5 p.m. and will return to the White House around 8:30 p.m.


  • The House is back at noon to debate and vote on rules for several bills.
  • Senators meet at 10 a.m. to consider several district judge nominations.
  • For the full detailed agenda read BGOV’s Congress Tracker.

Also Happening on the Hill

SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-Mo.) is threatening to derail the annual National Defense Authorization Act if it doesn’t include language expanding compensation to more victims of radiation exposure from the federal government’s tests of atomic bombs in the 20th century. Read more.

SENATORS are close to a deal on sweeping legislation reauthorizing the FAA before a year-end deadline. “We’re very, very close, we’re just making sure that we dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), chair of the aviation subcommittee, said. Read more.

JOSÉ JAVIER RODRİGUEZ, Biden’s nominee to lead the Labor Department’s largest subagency failed to advance in the Senate yesterday, dealing a major blow to the White House and Rodríguez, whose nomination has stalled since July 2021. Read more.

LAWMAKERS rebuked CANADA over its newly introduced legislation to enact a 3% digital services tax targeting global technology giants that members of Congress say unfairly discriminates against American companies. Read more.

Israel-Hamas Truce Enters Final Hours

Photo: Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images
Families and their supporters call for the release of all the hostages.

NEGOTIATORS from Qatar, Egypt, and the US are pressing for an extension of the truce between Israel and Hamas to try to secure the release of additional captives and avert a resumption of the war that erupted almost two months ago.

  • President Joe Biden called for an end to the fighting, saying on X that Hamas fears nothing more than Israelis and Palestinians living side-by-side in peace. “To continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war is to give Hamas what they seek. We can’t do that,” Biden wrote. Read more.

Energy and Environment

Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
A woman walks past banners at the COP28 climate summit.

KAMALA HARRIS will attend the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, people familiar with the matter said. The vice president is set to join Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the two-week event that begins tomorrow and is expected to address the summit later this week. Read more.

  • OPEC issued a strongly worded defense of the oil-and-gas industry days before the start of the summit, pushing back against the International Energy Agency and highlighting the increasingly fractious debate over how best to tackle global warming. Read more.

AUTOMAKERS may see a temporary reprieve from new rules poised to limit a consumer tax credit for electric vehicles that contain certain materials from foreign adversaries, as Biden administration officials have discussed phasing in enforcement, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said yesterday. Read more.

People, Power, and Politics

BIDEN targeted DONALD TRUMP at a fundraiser in Colorado yesterday over a number of policies such as his calls to repeal Obamacare, his support for abortion restrictions — as well as his political rhetoric. Read more.

85 FUND, a key group linked to GOP fundraiser Leonard Leo, poured $103 million into conservative causes last year, providing a significant boost to organizations that oppose diversity programs and medical care for transgender people, among other issues. Read more.

What Else We’re Reading

Purdue Confronts Supreme Court Skeptical of Bankruptcy Power

The US Supreme Court’s longstanding skepticism towards bankruptcy courts’ authority poses a potentially debilitating obstacle for Purdue Pharma LP in its quest to grant liability releases to its Sackler family owners.

Deepfake Pornography Victims Learn There Are No Laws to Fight It

No federal law criminalizes the creation or sharing of fake pornographic images in the US. When it comes to fake nudes of children, the law is narrow and pertains only to cases where children are being abused.

US Life Expectancy Improved in 2022, Rebounding from Covid Lows

Girls and boys born in the US last year both saw their life expectancy improve, the first increases since the pandemic.

Black Friday Stalwarts Struggle, Signaling Tough Holiday Season

For retailers and brands that rely on Black Friday the most, the day was a dud.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeannie Baumann at jbaumann@bloombergindustry.com; Brandon Lee at blee@bgov.com

Stay informed with more news like this – from the largest team of reporters on Capitol Hill – subscribe to Bloomberg Government today. Learn more.