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Democrats claim that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s Senate Minority Leader, is limiting America’s ability to compete against China by holding a bill designed to boost American industry hostage in order to block their party line spending bill.
McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, tweeted his position Friday afternoon. It stated that “there will not be any bipartisan USICA while Democrats are pursuing an partisan reconciliation bill.”
McConnell’s threat might change the political calculus in Congress for Democrats. They tried to pass the China bill, also known as the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), and the reconciliation spending bill before the summer ended.
“It’s regrettable that Senator McConnell has chosen this approach. Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, stated Tuesday that this is not an approach that will help the American people. “This competition bill, for many reasons, is so important. This is why we will continue to work closely with Congress to achieve it.
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Jean-Pierre made a more candid written statement. She said, “Senate Republicans are literally choosing to help China out compete the U.S. in order to protect big drug companies,” that a reconciliation bill may go after.
Ro Khanna was slightly diplomatic but still pointed about the USICA’s importance. Khanna is a member and driving force of the legislation and is also a member of a conference committee.
He stated, “I’d love for Senator McConnell to sit down for 30 minutes and convince them that this was one of the most crucial things for American preeminence. “And I don’t wish to score political points. I don’t want any blame. It’s not Democrat or Republican, I just want to get it done. This is what I want, because I’m a Silicon Valley Congressperson and understand the importance semiconductor production in the United States.
McConnell is a supporter of the USICA. McConnell supported the USICA. He was able to get a modified version through the Senate with substantial GOP support. He regularly lauds the bipartisan effort for the good things that the Senate can accomplish with the 60-vote filibuster in effect.
However, Democrats seem to be close to a deal on the reconciliation bill that Republicans say will only increase inflation. McConnell stated Tuesday that stopping that is his priority.
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McConnell stated that Democrats have experienced rampant inflation, worse than ever in the past 40 years.
“They had this thing, you may recall, called Build Back better, which was another huge government spending program that was within an eyelash to passing at the end 2021. McConnell said that Joe Manchin eventually rebelled against it at the end. This was the only thing that prevented them from adding more fuel to the fire.” “This year, they’re still playing with BBB. It will only make this even worse if they bring it back.
Khanna, however, refrained from the notion that either the reconciliation bill, or the USICA, would cause inflation.
Khanna said that anything in the reconciliation should be paid for. That would prevent inflation. It should be productive investment, an investment that will have a rate return. The case with USICA is that it’s all productive investment.
He also stated that he did not understand why the United States Congress could not fund production of semiconductor chips in America on an overwhelming bipartisan basis.
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McConnell was accused by Democratic leaders of placing the prescription drug industry above the United States’ economy or foreign policy.
“Sen. McConnell is so beholden to PhRMA that he’s willing to help China, hurt American manufacturing, and screw over Americans with outrageously high Rx prices,” Justin Goodman, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, tweeted.
“Make no mistake: Senator McConnell now supports the Chinese Communist Party against American workers, American industry,” Henry Connelly (a spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi), D-Calif. said. “And why? So that the GOP’s pals in Big Pharma can keep ripping off Americans struggling to afford their prescriptions.”
It is unclear what Congress’ next steps will be on the China reconciliation and China bills. Neither has a final version yet, and campaign season is rapidly approaching.
Khanna claims that some Senate Republicans, like Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is working to “get to the yes.” Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin (D.W.Va.), are currently in negotiations regarding reconciliation. However, their deal is not yet completed. Manchin’s office didn’t comment on McConnell’s tweet.
Source: Fox News