House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) blocked a bipartisan move to limit Chinese companies from contracting with U.S. transit systems—an action that reportedly benefited a manufacturer with a plant in his district. The Washington Post reports McCarthy moved to take out language in a spending bill that would have prevented BYD Motors—a company in his district—from winning federal contracts. BYD Motors makes electric buses used by municipalities and is reportedly a subsidiary of Chinese manufacturer BYD Company. The president of BYD Co., Stella Li, has contributed to McCarthy’s campaign. The House minority leader also took the time to speak at the company’s California plant ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2017.
McCarthy’s spokesman, Matt Sparks, denied any connection between contributions and the minority leader’s actions. “McCarthy is proud to support job creation for his constituents and community,” Sparks said. A BYD official also spoke before the House Transportation Committee last week and denied the company was controlled by the Chinese government. The official reportedly said investor Warren Buffett’s firm—Berkshire Hathaway—has a stake in BYD.