Brendan Smialowski, Agence France-Presse
45, Arkansas, R
A decorated Army Veteran and former member of The Harvard Crimson editorial board who often dissented from its liberal majority. Tom lived up to his ‘China hawk’ label in 2021 as one of the most outspoken critics of the Chinese Communist Party’s government.
After finishing his undergraduate, having written his thesis on The Federalist Papers, Tom went to law school and became a clerk with the U.S. Court of Appeals and private law practice. However, after 9/11, Tom left law to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq, receiving the Bronze Star. Tom then worked as a consultant before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and ultimately won his seat in the Senate in 2014 at age 37.
A former lawyer and Army veteran, Tom has earned his place as a hawkish Republican, specifically when it comes to China. He’s become a known name in the Senate for divisive comments, leading to a love-him-or-hate-him reputation. Potential 2024 Republican Presidential Candidate…we will have to wait and see.
At the start of the Covid pandemic, many prison inmates were furloughed to home confinement on account of health safety yet according to Tom, many remain at home. He’s now written to the Attorney General saying these inmates must return to prison. He argues that this procedure was only lawful during the “covid state of emergency” which has now ended. He challenges the department’s Office of Legal Counsel in saying their recent reversal of their January 2021 conclusion is simply “bowing to the pressure from political activists.” Is this a Scrooge move or simply a man trying to follow the law?
Tom has spent his 2021 concentrating on issues involving China. Since taking office, Tom has been one of the outspoken critics of the Chinese Communist Party. This year, Tom and a group of bipartisan colleagues wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asking why the report identifying Chinese military companies operating in the U.S. was delayed and demanding it be released ASAP. Tom has warned of the potential for China and its military to begin weaponizing biotech. Tom also joined a small group of Republican senators in writing to Commerce Secretary Raimondo, urging the department to blacklist China Chinese Al companies that help arm the People’s Liberation Army. This would mean identifying and stopping the flow of American technologies, exports, and investments to Chinese Al companies.
In 2016, during a trip to Israel, Taylor Force was killed by Palestinian terrorists. This pushed lawmakers like Tom and some of his Republican colleagues to introduce the Taylor Force Martyr Payment Prevention Act which would deter foreign banks from making “martyr payments”. Martyr payments is a term that began after Taylor Force was killed – the terrorist’s family who killed him started to receive payments from the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a reward for his actions. In 2018, a bipartisan bill was passed to restrict humanitarian aid to the PA until it stopped these payments, but recent reports show that they have not stopped.
Tom is one of the staunchest China hawks out there – it seems every week comes with a new piece of legislation or messaging from him against the Chinese government. And this week is no different! He joined a small group of Republican senators in writing to Commerce Sec. Raimondo urging the department to blacklist Chinese AI companies that help arm the People’s Liberation Army. This would mean identifying and stopping the flow of American technologies, exports, and investments to Chinese AI companies. Both Democrats and Republicans are concerned about our national security as it relates to China, but can we make progress here?
40, Texas — 5, R