Why would the Senate make it easier for China to flood American markets?

For over a year, conservatives have suspected that the Wuhan virus came, not from people eating bats or pangolins, but from Chinese researchers messing around with bat viruses.  That suspicion has now been pretty much confirmed.  China, whether carelessly or deliberately, created and released a virus that essentially destroyed the world as we know it.  It should be made a pariah nation, but instead, the Senate, by a huge margin that included almost all Republicans, adopted an amendment that cuts tariffs on hundreds of products that China ships to America.  I'm probably being very stupid here, but for the life of me, I can't understand why.

The Epoch Times has the story:

An exasperated Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted his frustration late Thursday after the Senate on a 91-4 vote adopted a measure that cuts U.S. tariffs on hundreds of products imported from China.

"The 'China bill' now reduces tariffs on hundreds of products made in #China. Why would we cut tariffs on China in a bill to improve American's ability to compete with China? And only @HawleyMO, @TomCottonAR @BernieSanders, and I voted against it. #Strangebedfellows," Rubio said in his tweet.

Just a few minutes before that tweet, Rubio tweeted a segment of his floor speech from earlier in the day in which he passionately told Senate colleagues the national security safeguards in the bill to protect U.S. technology research are inadequate.

"What I want you to understand is this is not a minor security threat, this is the number one priority of Chinese intelligence, this is what all of their agencies and all of their government are geared towards doing," Rubio said, referring to Chinese digital and human intelligence theft of American secrets.

Rubio's ire was stirred by the amendment that ran to more than 280 pages, making major changes to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, formerly known as the Endless Frontier Act.

The amendment was introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and co-sponsored by Republican senators Charles Grassley of Iowa, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Steve Daines of Montana, John Cornyn of Texas, James Lankford of Oklahoma and Todd Young of Indiana.

You can read more about the act and the vote here.

I can understand why the Democrats voted for the amendment.  They've long since sold out to China, from Biden on down.  One only has to look at their desperate efforts over the past year to protect China from any criticism or the slightest hint that it might have had a hand in creating and spreading the Wuhan virus.

What I cannot understand is why the Republicans proposed this amendment and then so enthusiastically voted for it.  To me, Marco Rubio is the only one making sense:

What kind of grand masochism is driving the Republicans to hand the keys to the kingdom to China, the nation that routinely steals from us, that sickened us, that broke our economy, that has us paying for goods produced through slave labor, that is our greatest geopolitical enemy, and that is openly seeking to destroy the U.S. dollar?  Is this really a case of our national leaders, for their economic advancement and power, having turned us into a Chinese colony without bothering to consult with the American people first?

Before 10:00 A.M. Eastern Time, I'll be updating this article with a link to the companion MeWe post.  If you can shine some light on my befuddlement — that is, if you have facts or analysis to offer other than just agreeing with me that our Congress no longer even pretends to represent the American people — please take the time to post your ideas on MeWe.

Image: Xi Jinping.  Public domain.

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.