Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on the Senate floor Monday gave a clear warning to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for trying to cut the debate short on the legislation aimed at combating China’s competitiveness with America.
As Schumer is looking to wrap up debate on legislation before the end of the week when the Senate leaves for the Memorial Day holiday, McConnell made his stance known.
“There’s no disagreement that the People’s Republic strategic capabilities and its growing influence beyond the indo-pacific [region] pose a singular challenge to American strength and security,” McConnell said on the floor.
He continued to say there are disagreements “about the right ways to address this challenge,” but he believes the legislation the way it currently stands is incomplete. Including the bill itself, that has “multiple committees’ jurisdictions.”
McConnell said there is more work to be done with the bill, and “we should not close debate on this bill until those amendments are addressed.”
The Minority Leader said the Democrats made their stance on the bill clear when they voted down an amendment by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). The amendment, according to McConnell, was “to make sure that the real backbone of our competition with China, the resources we allocate to our armed forces and national defense, was not neglected.”
However, McConnell said not to make any mistakes on the bill as there needs to be more discussion concerning important topics like supply chains, espionage, iand ntellectual property. He said additionally the Senate can not forget about the military.
McConnell said the United States can not afford to lose the edge we currently have on China’s military.
“Soft power isn’t much good without the hard power to back it up,” he said.
China has increased its investment in the military by 76 percent over the last decade, and the U.S. military fell 10 percent in the same amount of time, according to a watchdog group McConnell spoke about. He claimed that Biden wants to cut defense spending more, calling it the “wrong approach.”
McConnell had expressed there is “no serious strategy for our competition with massive foreign powers.” McConnell expressed that he hopes and expects to see more votes on amendments before the debate stops and there is a full vote on the bill.