(Washington, DC) Today on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Ranking Member Frank Lucas submitted a statement for the record to oppose the Democrats’ partisan “America COMPETES Act,” lamenting the missed opportunity to pass bipartisan bills to combat the rising influence of China rather than partisan provisions that inhibit American competitiveness:
"Instead of focusing on strong consensus policies, this package is filled with poison pills with no bipartisan support," Lucas wrote. "There was no need to make this partisan."
"We cannot afford to play politics while the Chinese Communist Party threatens our economic and national security. I urge my colleagues to come back to the table to negotiate strategic, bipartisan legislation that addresses this generational threat."
Read his full statement:
"I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 4521, the so-called “America COMPETES Act of 2022.” And I regret the path the Democratic leadership has taken with bringing this bill to the floor today.
Some will call this a “competitiveness package” or a “supply chain” bill. Others claim the bill is about countering the Chinese Communist Party. But the truth is that it is none of those things. If this 3,000-page bill seems to have no coherence or strategic purpose, that’s because it doesn’t. This package was tossed together by Democratic leadership with no Republican input, and from what I understand with very little coordination between the Committee chairs. The Speaker hijacked good bipartisan bills dealing with U.S. competitiveness and countering the malign influence of China to pass another Democratic wish list that will go nowhere in the Senate.
By combining competitiveness bills with partisan poison pills, H.R. 4521 undoes more than a year of bipartisan work by the House Science Committee to develop and pass comprehensive legislation to double investment in basic research. As Ranking Member of the Science Committee, I was proud to work with Chairwoman Johnson to produce good policy that will double our investment in basic science, support the most important emerging technologies, build our technical workforce, and protect our research from theft. The House Science Committee passed more than a dozen bills to scale-up America's research and development capabilities over the next decade, ensuring the Chinese Communist Party does not achieve its goal of overtaking the U.S. in science and technology, giving them a dangerous economic and national security advantage.
At the center of our work is the National Science for the Future Act and the Department of Energy Science for the Future Act, which both passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support in June. When we passed those bills, I had high hopes that for once, Congress might be able to work together to get something done. The economic and national security threats from China grow every day, and the Chinese Communist Party has been clear that their target is to surpass the United States.
The Senate has passed their own bipartisan package, the U.S. innovation and Competition Act (USICA) in June. While there are many flaws in USICA, I believe that we had a good opportunity to find a consensus agreement through a formal House and Senate Conference.
I have been urging Democratic leadership to begin conferencing these bills with the Senate since the summer, to no avail. And now that House Democratic leadership has finally decided to act, they have done so with no regard for all this bipartisan work.
Instead of focusing on strong consensus policies, this package is filled with poison pills with no bipartisan support. There was no need to make this partisan.
I believe that if given the opportunity we could have passed legislation that invests in American research, strengthens our supply chains, spurs private sector investment, ensures the domestic production of semiconductor chips, and confronts China’s malign behavior. This bill is nothing more than a distraction. Now I fear that this week’s exercise will make it more difficult to reach a bicameral, bipartisan deal on a bill.
We cannot afford to play politics while the Chinese Communist Party threatens our economic and national security. I urge my colleagues to come back to the table to negotiate strategic, bipartisan legislation that addresses this generational threat. And I ask my colleagues to oppose this flawed, partisan package."