House Democrats released late Tuesday night their bill designed to increase American competitiveness against China in advanced research and manufacturing.
The Senate passed its version, championed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), in June. That bill, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), was criticized by conservatives as a weak attempt to increase competitiveness against China.
The House Democrat version, the America COMPETES Act, totals in at 2,900 pages and aims to boost manufacturing, especially in the semiconductor industry. It would also attempt to fix the broken supply chains unfolding under President Joe Biden's administration.
Lawmakers have increasingly looked to boost domestic semiconductor production after the coronavirus pandemic broke international supply chains and made it difficult to keep up with semiconductor production.
The pivot to the anti-China legislation also serves as the latest gambit for Democrats to seize a win after they failed to pass the $4.91 trillion Build Back Better Act, and Schumer failed to break the filibuster and pass two voter bills.
As Punchbowl News wrote Wednesday, “And let's be completely frank: This White House needs a win.”
The Republican Study Committee (RSC) noted Tuesday that the bill would not counter Chinese activity within the United States:
Democrats' so-called “anti-China” bill is out: – Almost no provisions going after #CCP activity within the US, which should be our main concern. – It wastes money on issues completely disconnected from countering China, like $4B to the UN climate fund. Who are they fooling?
Democrats’ so-called “anti-China” bill is out:
– Almost no provisions going after #CCP activity within the US, which should be our main concern.
– It wastes money on issues completely disconnected from countering China, like $4B to the UN climate fund.
Who are they fooling?
— RSC (@RepublicanStudy) January 26, 2022
The Dems’ new #China bill includes:
• $8M to conserve coral reefs (pg 1636)
• $1.5M for a coral reef fellowship program (pg 1655)
• $4B for the UN Green Climate Fund (pg 1392)
* But not a dollar to OFAC to enforce sanctions on the CCP or to support military spending.
— RSC (@RepublicanStudy) January 26, 2022
An RSC staffer told Breitbart News that the RSC is diligently looking into the legislative text to find every carveout that Democrats have slipped into the bill, which might include sections of the Build Back Better Act.
The legislation also contains other woke provisions, including:
Collects demographic data, on a voluntary basis, of information on gender, race, military or veteran status, or any other demographic category appropriate for patent applications.
Ensures protection for “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, genetic information, or disability” in relation to the National Apprenticeship Act of 2022.
Amends section 204 of the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 to ensure equity for the territories of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands. These amendments allow block grant funds to qualify as the nonfederal share of project costs and allow for cost-share waivers for the territories for Section 213 conservation grants.
Supports organizational research, including research on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the technology sector (Diversity in Tech Research).
Supports nontraditional apprenticeship populations “such as women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and individuals impacted by the criminal or juvenile justice system…”
“Amends the Department of Energy Science Education Enhancement Act (42 U.S.C. 7381) by directing the Secretary of Energy to expand opportunities to increase the number and the diversity, equity, and inclusion of highly skilled STEM professionals working in the Department's mission-relevant disciplines and broaden the recruitment pool to increase diversity, including expanded partnerships with minority-serving institutions, emerging research institutions, and scientific societies.” [emphasis added]
Requires outreach to historically black colleges and universities, minority institutions, higher education programs that serve veterans and rural communities, and emerging research institutions.
Creates a Chief Diversity Officer of the National Science Foundation (NSF) “charged with providing guidance and leading the Foundation's strategic planning to broaden participation of individuals and institutions in NSF-funded activities.”
“Directs the Director of the Peace Corps to report on strategies to expand the number of Peace Corps volunteers in Oceania, with the goals of expanding the Peace Corps presence to all currently feasible locations in Oceania and working with regional and international partners to expand the presence of Peace Corps volunteers in low-income Oceania communities in support of climate resilience initiatives.”
Creates Climate Change Officer positions within the Foreign Service responsible for convening stakeholders and supporting U.S. engagement on climate change, and requires corresponding curriculum at the Foreign Service Institute.
Creates $4 billion grants for 2022 and 2023 to assist developing countries with “mitigating and adapting to climate change.”
House Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-TX) railed at Democrats for pushing a partisan bill:
“We have been in talks with House and Senate committees of jurisdiction for weeks, trying to put together a bipartisan bill that could pass Congress,” McCaul explained. “Rather than allowing those talks to play out, Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have decided to torpedo the chance of a bipartisan, bicameral bill to confront the generational threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.