Wyoming Senator John Barrasso Argues that Democrat Policies Have Damaged Our Economy & Undermined Our Standing in the World
Written by Caleb Nelson on May 13, 2022
Republican John Barrasso, the senior U.S. Senator from Wyoming, has strong words for the conference committee members on the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA).
Barrasso is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR).
His remarks come as the result of a meeting between the House and Senate conferees on the committee to “resolve difference [sic] between the House and Senate versions of a ‘competitiveness’ bill,” a representative from Barrasso’s office said.
The legislation, S.1260 – United States Innovation and Competition Act, is intended to address issues of economic competition between the U.S. and China. As Barrasso makes clear, there are stark differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
“The gulf between the Senate and House versions of this is really as wide as the Grand Canyon,” Barrasso says.
“The House purports to improve competition with China. They claim that it reigns in China’s theft of our nation’s intellectual property and research, but the vast majority of the House’s version has nothing to do with these priorities,” Barrasso adds.
Concerns over competition and trade imbalance with China intensified during the Trump administration when Vice President Mike Pence described China in 2018 as one of the foremost threats to the United States, saying, “The Chinese Communist Party is turning plowshares into swords on a massive scale.”
Legislation S. 1260, among other provisions, imposes sanctions on China for cybersecurity and human rights abuses, contains provisions intended to address China’s influence on American Universities (through use of foreign labs, surveilling Chinese students aboard, etc.), and requires the Department of Health and Human Services to consider national security risks associated with sensitive genetic information.
Displeased with House changes to the bill, Senator Barrasso says, “With inflation at forty-year highs, energy prices at an all-time high, and a war in Ukraine, Americans simply cannot afford another barrage of Democrat policies.”