GOP congressman questions her ‘loyalty.’ Rep. Judy Chu, House Democrats blast ‘racist’ rhetoric

A woman with short dark hair and a blue suit jacket speaks into a microphone.
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) speaks at a news conference at the Langley Senior Citizen Center in Monterey Park on Jan. 23.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Rep. Judy Chu and other House Democrats have fired back after a Republican congressman questioned her loyalty to the U.S. using what they say is anti-Asian rhetoric.

On Wednesday, Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) appeared on a Fox News show to discuss President Biden’s appointment of Dominic Ng to lead the country’s trade interest in Asia. House Republicans, including Gooden, have written to the FBI with claims that Ng should be investigated for potential ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Chu, along with other House Democrats, defended Ng’s appointment and expressed outrage at their colleagues’ attempts to undermine it based on the allegations of right-wing outlets “with extensive histories of spreading misinformation.” The conservative news outlet the Daily Caller published a story that alleged Ng had ties to Chinese intelligence groups and might have violated the Espionage Act. The outlet published similar claims about Chu.


“I think that Judy Chu needs to be called out,” Gooden said during the interview. “I question her either loyalty or competence. If she doesn’t realize what’s going on, then she’s totally out of touch with one of her core constituencies.”

Chu, who represents California’s 28th District, based in the San Gabriel Valley, called Gooden’s comments on Fox News questioning her loyalty to the U.S. “absolutely outrageous.”

“It is based on false information spread by an extreme, right-wing website,” Chu said in a statement. “Furthermore, it is racist. I very much doubt that he would be spreading these lies were I not of Chinese American descent.”

Chu took office in 2009, becoming the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress. Before that, she was a member of the Monterey Park City Council. She served three terms as mayor and was later elected to the state Assembly.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), who represents California’s 36th District, also fired back, saying that he served in the military to defend Gooden’s “right to say stupid, racist s—.”

“Attacking the loyalty of Asian Americans like @RepJudyChu is a racist trope that has harmed Asian Americans throughout US history,” Lieu said on Twitter. “Stop harming Americans of Asian descent.”


Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said Gooden’s “slanderous accusation of disloyalty” aimed at Chu was “dangerous, unconscionable and xenophobic.”

Gooden’s office did not respond to a request for further comment. But in a response to Jeffries, Gooden accused the House minority leader and Chu of “playing the race card in a sick display of disloyalty to our nation.”

Other House Democrats, including Rep. Adam B. Schiff, denounced Gooden’s comments as “xenophobic and racist.” Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus put out a statement saying Gooden’s comments reflected racist profiling of Chinese Americans by right-wing extremists that was “incredibly dangerous.”

The current controversy comes amid a rise in violence against Asian Americans. During the pandemic, Asian Americans in California saw triple-digit percentage increases in hate crimes.

“After centuries of being targeted for not being ‘American enough’ and viewed with suspicion based on looking ‘foreign,’ this type of insinuation and fear mongering only further endangers our communities,” the caucus members said. “We hope Republican House leadership will join us in condemning these kinds of attacks on Chinese Americans, elected or otherwise.”

In a statement, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee defended Chu’s “transformative contributions to the country and her community” and questioned why California Republican Reps. Michelle Steel and Young Kim, two of the first Korean American women elected to Congress, had not defended Chu.


“Their shameful silence comes at a time when anti-Asian hate continues to threaten communities and Republicans continue to weaponize dangerous misinformation for self-serving power,” the committee said in a statement.

Last year while campaigning for reelection, Steel faced accusations of “McCarthyism” after running ads about her Democratic opponent that used heavily doctored images and videos to tie him to the Chinese Community Party.