House

Conservative Republican says Democrats’ competition bill would ‘help China’

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) during a press conference on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 regarding Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) removing Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.) off of the January 6 Select Committee.
Greg Nash

Republican Study Group Chairman Jim Banks (Ind.) slammed legislation meant to help U.S. businesses compete with China that was introduced by House Democrats, arguing that the bill would “help China.”

“The name of Speaker Pelosi’s America COMPETES Act must be ironic or a joke, because after looking through the text, no sensible person would ever say this will help Americans confront the China threat much less compete with China, as this legislation is being advertised,” Banks wrote in a memo to members of the Republican Study Committee.

The bill, introduced by House Democratic leaders last week, would provide $52 billion to incentivize domestic semiconductor chip production and $45 billion in grants, loans and loan guarantees through the Commerce Department to help bolster supply chains.

Additionally, it aims to take steps to apply diplomatic pressure on China by levying sanctions for its alleged human rights abuses against the Uyghurs.

Republicans in the House have come out strongly against the legislation as the party prepares for the midterms this fall, when the GOP hopes to take the majority.

Banks outlined a 10-point list detailing why he believes the Democrats’ bill concedes to China rather than bolstering its ability to compete with the country.

He argued that the legislation invites more individuals from the Chinese Communist Party into the U.S. through a new visa cap carveout program and gives China more opportunities to seize U.S. intellectual property by urging the two countries to manage “parallel initiatives” for a host of environmental efforts.

Banks also says the bill would worsen inflation and allow China to have “a global platform for their propaganda” by not calling for moving the Winter Olympics out of the country. 

Additionally, Banks criticized the bill for letting China “off the hook for their role in the pandemic,” arguing that the mention of an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 is “a meaningless requirement” that mandates that President Biden deliver a report to Congress. 

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