House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas released a statement today criticizing the so-called competitiveness package released by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Totaling nearly 3,000 pages H.R. 4521 is a partisan package cobbled together by Democratic leadership with no Republican input.
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.
The House Science Committee passed more than a dozen bills to strategically 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.
Central to this work are the National Science for the Future Act and the Department of Energy Science for the Future Act, which passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support in June. Lucas noted that while there are significant policy differences between these bills and the Senate's U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), there was a good possibility of finding a consensus agreement through a formal House and Senate conference.
He released the following statement criticizing the Speaker's bill and the process by which it was developed:
“When the House overwhelmingly passed our bipartisan legislation to invest in America’s scientific and technological competitiveness, I had high hopes that for once, Congress might be able to work together to get something done," Lucas said. "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. Recognizing this challenge, the House Science Committee worked diligently on competitiveness legislation for more than a year, passing more than a dozen bills to double our investment in basic science, support the most important emerging technologies, build our technical workforce, and protect our research from theft."
"We created strategic, smart, bipartisan bills that would ensure America’s leadership in science and technology over the next decade," Lucas continued. "I have been urging Democratic leadership to begin conferencing these bills with the Senate since June, to no avail. And now that Speaker Pelosi has finally decided to act, she has done so with no regard for all of this bipartisan work. Instead of focusing on strong consensus policies, she’s filled her package with poison pills with no bipartisan support. There was no need to make this partisan, but it seems that the Speaker can’t resist taking good policy and making it controversial. At first glance, this bill actually weakens our ability to deal with the malign influence from China. We cannot afford to play politics while the Chinese Communist Party threatens our economic and national security.”
Read more from Lucas on competitiveness legislation: