WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC4) – A Utah lawmaker has introduced the FAUCI Act, which aims to ban funding for research in China, produce a full accounting of tax dollars spent, and “restrict government officials who intentionally mislead Congress.”

In announcing the bill introduction, Representative Chris Stewart (R-UT) says, “The origin of COVID-19 is one of the most important questions we face. This bill demands transparency and justice on behalf of the American people.”

Rep. Stewart introduced the FAUCI Act in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. It was introduced by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) in the Senate earlier this month.

“The world is still feeling the devastating human and economic impacts from COVID-19,”says Rep. Stewart. “The American people deserve accountability and transparency. First, we need to ban U.S. taxpayer dollars from funding dangerous research in the labs of our greatest foreign adversary. This is an inexcusable mistake that demands immediate correcting. Second, we need to know exactly how and where American taxpayer dollars were spent. And finally, to ensure we get those answers, we need to establish consequences for anyone who intentionally misleads our investigations. These efforts aren’t about assigning blame – it’s about preventing another catastrophe and demanding justice on behalf of the American people.”

“While American tax dollars were being funneled into Communist China to support dangerous experiments on coronaviruses at the Wuhan Lab, the head of the division funding those activities, Dr. Fauci, failed to tell the truth to Congress and to the American People about how our money was being spent,” says Sen. Ernst.

FAUCI stands for “Fairness and Accountability in Underwriting Chinese Institutions Act.” If passed, it would further ensure “any National Institutes of Health employee, official, or grantee that intentionally misleads Congress, or the Inspector General, will be ineligible for current or future federal grants and employment.”

In October, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos questioned Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Adviser, about the extent to which the U.S. was funding bat coronavirus research in Wuhan after the NIH released a letter about a New York City-based nonprofit’s research on bat coronavirus spike proteins.

“Now, some critics and analysts have seized on that to say you and others have misled the public about U.S. funding of this so-called gain-of-function research. The NIH says that’s false. Our medical unit backs that up,” Stephanopoulos noted in the interview. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has called for Fauci’s firing over the controversy.

“Well, I obviously totally disagree with Senator Paul. He’s absolutely incorrect. Neither I nor Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the NIH lied or misled about what we’ve done,” Fauci told Stephanopoulos. He continued, saying they knew what the risk was and that they should have put in their progress report in a timely manner. Fauci calls the implication that the research led to COVID-19 is “unconscionable” and “molecularly impossible.”

You can watch the full interview here.