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‘Appears to Have Been Written to Help China,’ Republican Study Group Says of House Democrat Anti-CCP Bill

Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: February 1, 2022
America Concedes Act is what the America COMPETES Act should have been called, says Rep. Jim Banks and the Republican Study Committee.
U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) speaks during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol July 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Banks, Chair of the Republican Study Group, has criticized the 2,900+ page America COMPETES Act pushed by House Democrats as an anti-CCP bill for having few provisions that actually counter the Communist Party. (Image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A recently introduced mega-bill by House Democrats purporting to counter the Chinese Communist Party is riddled with provisions that hurt America and help China, claims a faction of House Republicans with a notoriously hawkish stance against China’s ruling regime. 

The America COMPETES Act was unveiled by Democrats in the House of Representatives on Jan. 25. The legislation is verbose, clocking 2,912 pages, and features primary selling features such as provisions to bolster the American semiconductor manufacturing sector and rectify the supply chain. 

In an early skim of the bill, the Republican Study Committee (RSC), Chaired by Rep. Jim Banks (IN), cautioned that COMPETES was littered with extraneous riders such as millions of dollars for coral reefs and a $4 billion donation to the United Nations Climate Change Fund.

In a Jan. 31 Memo to the RSC, Banks issued a hot take as he stated that COMPETES should actually have been named the “America CONCEDES Act.” 

“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.”

“After directing my staff to comb through the 2,900 page bill that dwarfs even Biden’s BBB Act, we have come to the conclusion that this bill appears to have been written to help China,” stated Banks.

“The provisions tucked into this bill are so harmful to the United States or leave us so vulnerable to China’s malign activity, we have no other choice but to believe that the Democrats wrote this bill to concede to China.”

Although only so much truth can ever be panned from the sand of inter party political rhetoric, Banks nonetheless offers an 11 point summary of his position based on citations from the Act itself. 

In the first instance, Banks references amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act on Page 1689 that allow for aliens, along with their spouses, children, and employees, who own a 5 to 10 percent or greater interest in a “start-up entity” to qualify for visas without counting against visa issuance quantity restrictions already present in the Act.

“Start-up Entity” is defined as a U.S. business that has been lawfully operational within the five year period preceding the date of visa application.

Banks also criticizes Page 1340 of COMPETES, which attempts to nerf the usage of coal power in the CCP’s Belt and Road Initiative hegemony scheme while simultaneously undertaking “parallel initiatives” with the Party on emissions and “green” energy talking points.

In a third example, Banks references provisions in Page 1480 of the Act that instruct the U.S. powers at the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to vote against financial assistance to the PRC, because the measure still allows donations to the Party if they are earmarked for “fighting climate change.”

Unfortunately, the toothy merits of Banks and the RSC’s policy positions stop there.

Although Banks has a point: for a 2,900+ page piece of legislation claiming to counter the nation’s most serious threat, the actual measures enacted are light at best, the remaining eight talking points referenced in the memo are more spurious, including criticisms of the Biden administration’s pseudo-boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

The Memo also criticizes COMPETES because the Act will cost $250 billion to implement, lacks initiatives to combat United Front Work Department Confucius Institutes, fails to hold the CCP responsible for the lab leak of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the Coronavirus Disease 2019  (COVID-19) pandemic, and contains riders that direct the military to train for climate change events.