KEY VOTE: House · Feb 2, 2022

Heritage Action opposes the America Competes Act (H.R. 4521) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

The House will soon vote on the America COMPETES Act (H.R. 4521), a proposal intended to counter the ongoing threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). However, this legislation does little to achieve this goal. Instead, the legislation seeks to spend more than $300 billion and provide bailouts for chip manufacturers and Democrat-aligned corporations, the woke education industry, and Left-wing “climate” groups.

The bill rehashes Democrats’ failed initiatives–like BBB and the Green New Deal—and will unfairly burden business and the American worker with spending and regulations in the pursuit of “competition” with China. The bill even mentions coral reefs more often than it does China—the very threat the bill claims to be addressing. American taxpayers should be appalled by the cavalier nature in which the Democratic party is trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

While the list is non-exhaustive, some of the worst aspects of the bill include:

  • $320 billion of new spending with no offsets in spending—at a time when inflation is undercutting American families’ paychecks - including $50 billion in emergency appropriations for semiconductors and a $45 billion slush fund for politically connected interests, with no guardrails to prevent this money from flowing to China.

  • A radical expansion and transformation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program into a new welfare program that would allow for essentially any American to receive government payments for the rest of their life—which could not come at a worse time given the labor shortage the country currently faces (which is partly fueling the inflation crisis).

  • Establishes a new visa program to allow wealthy foreigners to purchase visas, start a company in the U.S., and acquire additional visas to import more foreign labor. As a reminder, Secretary Mayorkas has been accused of doling out similar visas as political favors.

  • Provides $50 billion in subsidies for the semiconductor industry and a $45 billion slush fund for politically connected interests and no guardrails to prevent the funds from passing through China.

  • Provides billions of U.S. tax dollars to climate initiatives that are unrelated to China

  • Establishes a diversity grant program under the National Science Foundation and creates the new position of chief diversity officer.

  • Directs the federal government to coordinate with labor unions on virtually every new program created under the bill while also establishing onerous, new labor union requirements for grant programs in the proposal.

  • Recklessly sends money out of the country to be spent on climate issues:
    • $8 billion for the U.N. Green Climate Fund.

    • $2 billion annually in foreign aid for other countries to fight climate change.

    • $15 million annually for solar panel subsidies.

Our nation is, and will remain, in a long-term strategic competition with China. Instead of passing nearly 3,000 pages of dangerously misguided policy, Congress should return to the drawing board and make meaningful investments in America’s ability to remain competitive with China. This is one of the most serious threats facing our nation and each day that passes without serious action sees our competitive disadvantage grow.

Heritage Action opposes the America Competes Act (H.R. 4521) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.