Twenty-six Republican senators, in a rare move supporting a member of the opposite party, released a statement supporting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for stopping in Taiwan during her diplomatic trip to Asia.
“We support Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan,” the group of Republicans led by Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) wrote, noting that lawmakers have made the trip many times before.
“For decades, members of the United States Congress, including previous Speakers of the House, have traveled to Taiwan,” the senators added. “This travel is consistent with the United States’ One China policy to which we are committed. We are also committed now, more than ever, to all elements of the Taiwan Relations Act.”
The other 24 senators who signed their names to the letter were: Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Thune (R-SD), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jim Risch (R-ID), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Barrasso (R-WY), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Todd Young (R-IN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Richard Burr (R-NC), John Boozman (R-AR), Tim Scott (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Pat Toomey (R-PA).
The Speaker’s trip marks the first time in 25 years that a U.S. official of her level visited Taiwan. The previous visit was in 1997 by then-Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich (GA).
In fact, last week, Gingrich urged Pelosi to take her intended trip to Taiwan despite the Biden administration’s reservations about the trip.
“I feel very strongly that Speaker Pelosi should go to Taiwan, and she should take a bipartisan delegation,” Gingrich said at the 2022 America First Policy Institute summit in Washington, DC, while receiving loud applause.
“We told them after this [the trip] had all been announced that we’re going to go to Taiwan. And they were furious. And the [Chinese] Ambassador called [the person] who was handling national security and was our trip planner,” he said about his experience being the highest ranking American official ever to visit Taiwan in 1997 and the pressure he faced at the time.
“And I remember he happened to be in my office. We took the call, and at one point, he says, ‘The Chinese Communist Party does not dictate the travel plans of the American Speaker of the House,’” Gingrich added.