Updated June 24, 1998
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Transfer of Missile and Satellite Technology to
China: A Summary of H.Res. 463
Authorizing a House Select Committee
Stephen W. Stathis
Specialist in American National Government
On June 18, 1998, the House voted 409-10 to create a Select Committee on U.S.
National Security and Military/Commercial Concerns with the People's Republic of
China. The select committee will investigate, among other matters, allegations that the
Clinton Administration allowed the Chinese government to acquire sensitive missile
technology in exchange for campaign contributions, focusing on the national security
consequences of those actions. This fact sheet provides a brief summary of H.Res. 463,
which was reported by the Rules Committee (H.Rept. 105-582) on June 16. The
resolution was considered under procedures that permitted no floor amendments.
Jurisdiction. H.Res. 463 charges the select committee with determining whether
the transfer of technology, information, advice, goods, or services to the People's Republic
of China enhanced:
! the accuracy, reliability, or capability of China's nuclear long-range missiles or
! its domestic or foreign intelligence capabilities; and
! its manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, missiles, or other armaments.
The committee will also investigate, with respect to these transfers and enhancements:
! effects on the regional and national security of the United States;
! the conduct and decision-making of the executive branch, defense contractors,
weapons manufacturers, satellite manufactures, and other firms;
! the enforcement of U.S. statutes, regulations, or executive orders;
! efforts by the Chinese government or other entities to influence these matters; and
! efforts to conceal or withhold relevant information or documents, obstruct justice,
or obstruct any investigation of these matters.
Committee Structure and Rules. The select committee consists of nine members.
Republican members include Representative Christopher Cox, chair, and Representatives
Porter J. Goss, Douglas Bereuter, James V. Hansen, and Curt Weldon. Democratic
members include Representative Norman D. Dicks, ranking minority member, and
Representatives John M. Spratt, Jr., Lucille Roybal-Allard, and Robert C. Scott.
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
Funding and Staffing. The select committee is authorized $2.5 million to conduct
its work. It may employ such staff as considered necessary, including detailees from the
executive branch or the staff of the House or a joint committee. The select committee is
authorized through the remainder of the 105th Congress.
Gathering of Information. The committee, or the chair in consultation with the
ranking minority member, may subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and
the production of information that it deems necessary, including White House materials
and order depositions within and outside the United States. The committee may request
relevant files or information from any House committee; material held by the Permanent
Select Committee on Intelligence is to be made available to the select committee
consistent with Rule XLVIII, clause 7(c)(2). The select committee may also inspect 19881998 tax returns held by the Secretary of the Treasury related to individuals and entities
connected with the transactions under investigation.
The select committee may request a standing committee to pursue specific matters
within its jurisdiction, and may request investigations, reports, or other assistance from
any agency of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch. It may, upon consultation
with the Speaker, make applications and responses to a court, consistent with Rule L.
Classified and Sensitive Information. The Select Committee may make reports to
the House in accordance with Rule XXIX, regarding secret sessions of the House.
Consistent with Rule XLVIII, clause 7(c)(2), and other provisions of the resolution,
the Select Committee is authorized to provide other committees and House Members with
access to information and proceedings.
The select committee is authorized to disclose information publicly. If the select
committee votes to disclose classified and other specified information, the select
committee must submit the information to the Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence, which may vote to disclose the information. If the Permanent Select
Committee on Intelligence votes to disclose the information, the President personally in
writing may object, and procedures are provided for the Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence and the House to consider his objections.
When the committee completes its work, it may direct the transfer of its records to
other committees, or to the clerk of the House, consistent with applicable rules and laws
concerning classified information.
For additional information on exchange of sensitive technology with China, see CRS
Report 97-484 F, China-U.S. Relations: Chronology of Developments During the Clinton
Administration; CRS Report 97-933 F, China: Pending Legislation in the 105th
Congress; CRS Issue Brief 98018, China-U.S. Relations; and CRS Report 98-485 F,
China: Possible Missile Technology Transfers From U.S. Satellite Export Policy—
Background and Chronology.