Romney & other senators want a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics

WASHINGTON — On Thursday, Senator Mitt Romney along with a bipartisan group of senators proposed an amendment to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would prohibit the secretary of state from spending federal funds to “support or facilitate”  the attendance of U.S. government employees at China’s Winter Olympics in February, according to Reuters.

The diplomatic boycott would still give funding to U.S. athletes, along with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and its employees and contractors.

The amendment specifically calls for an “end to the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing human rights abuses, including the Uyghur genocide.”

In a statement to Reuters, Romney said the boycott “will hurt the Chinese Communist Party, rather than punish our American athletes.”

The amendment has the support of Democrats Tim Kaine and Ed Markey. In the past, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also called for a diplomatic boycott.

Countries typically send delegations to the Olympics. Despite the pandemic, first lady Jill Biden led a delegation to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The access for diplomats in Beijing is under question however, as China has said the 2022 Games will be closed off to international spectators.

The NDAA bill is currently stalled, with legislative negotiations focused on President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda. The NDAA has been passed by Congress every year since 1961.

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