House conservatives take aim at Schumer-led bipartisan China bill
House conservatives are criticizing a bipartisan bill authored by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), saying it does too little to protect American interests from Chinese threats.
The conservative Republican Study Committee, which has 154 members and is the largest GOP caucus in Congress, said the bill is too expensive in an internal memo obtained by The Hill.
It also said the bill should take tougher actions against China for stealing intellectual property rights and for industrial espionage.
The memo criticizes the Endless Frontier Act, a $100 billion bipartisan bill proposal aimed at reinvigorating the National Science Foundation to compete with China.
The Endless Frontier Act is co-sponsored by Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.).
Other Republicans who have signed on as co-sponsors include Sens. Roy Blunt (Missouri), Susan Collins (Maine), Steve Daines (Mont.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Mitt Romney (Utah). Six Democrats have also signed on as co-sponsors.
The legislation would provide $100 billion over five years to the National Science Foundation for research, development and manufacturing of critical technology.
It is scheduled to be marked up in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Wednesday, paving the way for a possible vote in the Senate.
A companion bill to the Endless Frontier Act was introduced in the House by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), both members of the House Armed Services Committee.
The Republican Study Committee’s memo calls for $20 billion in the Endless Frontier Act to be directed toward the defense budget.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, and other conservatives have sought to paint the Biden administration and Democrats as weak on China, an argument sure to be a GOP theme in next year’s elections.
At the same time, legislation on China has been seen as a potential area of compromise given antipathy in both parties toward Beijing’s practices. Those hopes are reflected in the bipartisan support for the Endless Frontier Act.
Scott Wong contributed to this report.