(Washington, DC) House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas was joined by the Ranking Members of each subcommittee in criticizing the so-called “COMPETES Act” passed today.
The nearly 3,000-page COMPETES Act passed on a on a party-line basis.
“At every turn this was a failure of bipartisanship and a failure of policymaking,” Lucas said. “I’m deeply frustrated that instead of taking action on the Science Committee’s bipartisan legislation, Speaker Pelosi chose to create a massive bill filled with controversial provisions that she knew could not garner support from both sides of the aisle. Democratic leadership ignored two years’ worth of good faith negotiations so they could move yet another unpopular, one-sided bill that allows them to expand their big government and big spending agenda. We could have passed a targeted, strategic competitiveness bill with broad support from Republicans and Democrats alike. The decision to make this partisan reflects Democratic leadership’s skewed priorities: partisan messaging over policymaking. I worry about what this means for future bipartisan collaboration within the House. I hope that when we move to conference this legislation with the Senate, we can work to remove extraneous, partisan provisions and focus on the necessary legislation to ensure American competitiveness with China.”
“We had bipartisan momentum to take action on China. Instead, Speaker Pelosi managed to poison badly needed legislation that could have advanced American competitiveness,” Energy Subcommittee Ranking Member Randy Weber said. “So, rather than voting on this partisan catch-all bill, with more references to coral reefs than to China—a bill that is Dead-On-Arrival in the Sente—let’s focus on what’s important. Let’s bolster innovation, while holding China accountable for its actions. The stakes are higher than ever—without strategic investments in American research, our national security and economic prosperity are at risk. The majority’s bill did not get us any closer to making America better.”
“Instead of increasing our competitiveness and combating threats from adversaries, this bill puts Communist China in a strategic position to capitalize off the American taxpayer,” said Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Ranking Member Brian Babin. “The hard work and bipartisan collaboration of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee has been obliterated for shameful political theater. The Democrats consistently put messaging over good governance, and it’s destroying our country.”
“Democrats wasting an opportunity to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s malign influence to instead pass the Build Back Better Backup Plan under the banner of “China” is dangerous,” said Research and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Michael Waltz. “Democrats’ approach compromises the Science Committee’s work to graduate more STEM students, develop a high-tech workforce, and invest in research and technologies to maintain America’s edge.”
“It’s disheartening that Democrats chose to politicize effective, strategic, and bipartisan legislation that the House Science, Space and Technology committee crafted throughout this year,” said Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Stephanie Bice. “We needed a bill that would actually strengthen American competitiveness and address the pressing threat of the Chinese Communist Party, not a far-left climate bill disguised as foreign policy.”
“For more than a year, this Congress has worked to craft serious bipartisan policy solutions to improve our competitiveness with China and protect American technology from espionage and unfair trade practices," said Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee Ranking Member Jay Obernolte. "Unfortunately, the America COMPETES Act abandons that effort and couples endless reports, unenforceable ‘senses of Congress,’ and a bloated $325 billion price tag with numerous unrelated provisions and partisan poison pills. This is bill is not a serious proposal, and I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to abandon it and return to the work we set out to accomplish.”
The House Science Committee began the process of developing competitiveness legislation two years ago with bipartisan discussions. The Committee conducted multiple hearings, gathered stakeholder feedback, held markups, and ultimately produced a package of solid, consensus legislation that would invest in basic research and development, strengthen American competitiveness, and address the growing threat from the Chinese Communist Party. The bills earned overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and have been ready to conference with the Senate since June.