Politico reports that House Democrats will be in “tunnel vision” as they work to pass their bill that would attempt to boost American competitiveness against China, especially in semiconductor manufacturing. The Senate passed their version of the bill, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), in 2021.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has signaled that the bill is a top priority, as Democrats are desperate for a win before Biden’s March 1 State of the Union address. Passing the bill on that timeline would require a quick passage through Congress’s lower chamber, a difficult feat with Republican opposition.
The COMPETES Act is riddled with climate change policy, woke provisions, and immigration carveouts, which means that few to no Republicans would support the bill. In fact, Politico noted House Republicans will likely oppose the bill unanimously.
Should the bill make it through the House, congressional Democrats will have to set up a conference committee to hash out the differences between this bill and the Senate-passed version, USICA.
The outlet also observed that Democrat lawmakers are frustrated that Democrat leadership circumvented the committee process to draft the bills, thereby potentially sparking internal division.
RSC Chairman Banks quips that the COMPETES Act should be labeled the “CONCEDES Act,” as its provisions are beneficial to China and detrimental to U.S. interests.
Banks outlines the failings of the bill in a memo to the RSC:
1. Invites more malign CCP actors into the country: Creates a new visa cap carveout program that would be even less secure than the existing visa programs that already riddled with fraud [sic]. Shockingly, an unlimited number of members of the Chinese Communist Party are eligible to take advantage of the new visa program to carry out their malign activity here in the States (page 1689).
2. Ties our hands behind our back: The bill urges the U.S. to abide by the dangerous and short-sighted Paris Climate Agreement which would cripple our economic output and does almost nothing to stop China’s much more rampant pollution (page 1323).
3. Provides more opportunities for China to steal our intellectual property: The bill directs the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China to work together and undertake ‘parallel initiatives’ on research, development, finance and deployment (pg. 1340).
4. Distracts our military from focusing on China: The bill would direct the U.S. Armed Forces to train to combat climate change events (pg. 1396).
5. Lets China off the hook for their role in the pandemic: The only mention of the investigation into COVID origins is a meaningless requirement that mandates Biden give a report to Congress (page 995). No independent investigation, no sanctions, no punishment.
6. Pads China’s coffers: Under this bill, China will be eligible for financial assistance from the World Banks Group and Asian Development Banks if assistance will contribute to “fighting climate change” (page 1480).
7. Wastes taxpayer dollars on issues completely unrelated to China: • $8 billion for the UN Green Climate Fund (page 1392) • $2 million a year in foreign aid to countries to combat climate change (page 1375) • $22 million to investigate a residential building collapse (page 191) • Establishes a new federal program to study plumbing (page 227) • Establishes a Coral Reef Task Force (page 1645) and gives $6 million to the NOAA to create a National Coral Reef Management Fellowship (page 1653). In fact, it’s so focused on coral reefs that “coral reefs” is mentioned more times than the word “China.” • Includes the Marine Mammal Research and Response Act that mandates financial and regulatory “support” to protect marine mammals.
8. Includes policies inspired by divisive & anti-American Critical Race Theory: Provides $5 million to create a Chief Diversity Officer at the National Science Foundation (page 328) and direct the NSF to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion in the technology sector (page 318).
9. Adds fuel to inflation fire: Costs $250 billion and there’s no design to pay for the bill, so much of it will be added to our national debt.
10. Turns a blind eye to Confucius Institutes: The bill fails to ban federal funding for colleges and universities that host Confucius Institutes, a tool of the Chinese Communist Party to steal our intellectual property and censor our campuses (page 1967).
11. Allows China a global platform for their propaganda: The bill does not call for moving the International Olympic Games outside of China instead opting for a weak slap on the wrist aka a “diplomatic boycott” (page 1249).
“We went from the toughest president in my lifetime on the China threat to a president and party who seems [sic] more interested in China’s success than our own,” Banks concluded in his memo to RSC members. “This bill is a legislative gift to the Chinese Communist Party, and if it passes it’ll have Chairman Xi laughing all the way to the bank. House conservatives in the Republican Study Committee will fight to stop the Democrats from helping China every step of the way.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.