Thank you for allowing me to speak today, Chairman McGovern and Ranking Member Cole. Earlier this year, I spoke to this Committee ahead of the House vote on the first trillion-dollar reconciliation package. Then, I told you that the Science Committee hadn’t even had a chance to provide input on the bill.
Here we are for round two, with more trillions of taxpayer dollars at stake. I suppose I should be glad that this time, at least, the Science Committee was given the chance to vote on our portion of this bill. Unfortunately, I can’t be sure that the text I’m being asked to testify on is going to even be the final text considered by the Rules Committee to be brought to the floor.
The latest version of the bill includes massive changes from what the Science Committee reported in September, and additional changes from the version I was prepared to testify on last week. The bill includes funding of new programs that weren’t considered by the Science Committee. And the draft drops important provisions adopted in committee, including a provision to prohibit the use of Chinese forced labor for energy projects. The bill also drops a bipartisan provision to ensure geographic diversity of research infrastructure funded in the bill.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for this legislation. Every day in the last week, I’ve read rumors about more changes to this package – changes that rewrite whole entitlement programs and tax codes. We haven’t seen the text of those changes, not to mention we don’t even have scores from the Congressional Budget Office to estimate the true budgetary impact of these proposals. In fact, I don’t even know if we’ll have a score before Members will be asked to vote on this giant package on the floor. That is irresponsible at best, and a dereliction of duty in this time of growing federal debt and rising inflation.
Democrats are operating under the slimmest of majorities so they’re resorting to partisan tactics and gimmicks to bulldoze opposition to this bill. There is no deadline that requires us to vote on this bill before it’s been read or scored. This is simply an attempt to ram this through before even more opposition rises to this flawed package.
Meanwhile, Congress does have truly urgent matters to address. We’re dealing with the worst inflation in a generation and Americans are paying for Washington’s actions with higher prices at the gas pump, at the grocery store, and just about everywhere else. Energy costs alone have increased by nearly 25% in the last year. As inflation rises, Americans must stretch every dollar further and further. But instead of addressing this very real problem, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, and Senator Sanders are just pushing for more government spending.
This is reckless and it’s irresponsible. Mr. Chairman, this is no way to run a railroad. I oppose this measure and I urge Democrats not to push this bill forward and force Congress to vote on this massive, flawed, and rushed bill.