U.S. Congress Pushes New Bill to Confront Chinese Communist Party

On June 8, the U.S. Senate voted 68 to 32 to pass the 1,445-page American Innovation and Competition Act, which involves $250 billion in budget spending. This means that the U.S. has opened a comprehensive confrontation with the Chinese Communist Party by means of legislation.

The bill advocates competition with the Chinese Communist Party through strategic, economic, diplomatic, and technological means. Its key elements include authorizing $190 billion in funding to strengthen U.S. technology and research, and separately authorizing $54 billion in spending to strengthen U.S. production and research on semiconductors and telecommunications equipment, with about $2 billion earmarked for research on automotive chips. In addition, the bill seeks to address the “growing global influence” of the Communist Party of China through diplomacy, cooperation with allies and increased U.S. participation in international organizations.

“We are in a race for victory in the 21st century, and the starting gun has been fired. As other nations continue to invest in their own research and development, we can’t risk falling behind.” President Joe Biden said in a statement on the evening of June 8, adding that he applauded the bill’s unanimous bipartisan passage in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a co-sponsor of the bill, said it would help prevent the United States from losing its position as a global leader in research and innovation, strengthen America’s ability to innovate and maintain America’s competitive advantage for future generations by addressing “China’s (Chinese Communist Party) influence on multiple fronts.

The American Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, which is moving through Congress, sets a new record in U.S. legislative history in at least two ways.

First, it is an unprecedented bill.

For the first time in U.S. history, a massive law of more than 1,000 pages has been passed to analyze a country’s major domestic and foreign policies and to open a comprehensive confrontation with that country in all areas: political, economic, diplomatic, cultural, scientific and technological, and military. None of the hostile nations of the American War of Independence and World Wars I and II, nor the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact nations of the Cold War, had ever been treated in this manner by the U.S. Congress. Communist China is the first country with which the United States has passed legislation to fully confront.

Second, the speed with which this bill is moving also breaks records in U.S. legislative history.

The U.S. Congress is made up of members of both parties who have major differences in political philosophy and often argue over major decisions in domestic and foreign affairs, and it usually takes less than a year and a half for any major bill to come to fruition. But this bill is an exception. The bill was conceived by the top Democrats in February of this year, and initially consisted of several bills of dozens to hundreds of pages, led by Democratic and Republican lawmakers respectively; in just two months, the Senate Select Committee came up with several preliminary drafts of the bill, and after a number of major amendments proposed by lawmakers from both parties, they were considered and passed by an overwhelming majority in the Select Committee; and then after just After just one month, the Senate produced a bill with 1,445 pages, and then took about 20 days to complete its deliberations and enter the final voting process; it was voted on and passed by the full Senate on June 8.

Currently, the House of Representatives, where the Democrats have a greater advantage, is considering a bill with much the same content. The huge bill just passed by the Senate has already been communicated with the House of Representatives before it was put to a vote, incorporating many of the contents of the House version. Therefore, after the House passed the relevant bill, the two bills can easily be integrated into one bill, and if there are not many changes will likely not require the plenary of both houses of Congress to go through a lengthy deliberation process, but only need to vote on the integrated version of the bill in writing can be submitted to the President for signature, officially becoming the longest piece of legislation in U.S. history.

As a rule, after the U.S. Senate officially published the full text of the 2021 American Innovation and Competition Act on its official website on May 18, it will take six months to complete the legislative process at the earliest. Now, it seems likely that this unprecedented anti-communist bill will become a formal U.S. law this summer and be implemented immediately, as a result of the high level of consensus between members of Congress and the White House to move this law forward. It is not hard to imagine that this will be a watershed or landmark event for China and the United States to move toward a full-scale confrontation, and it will have a huge and far-reaching impact on curbing the expansion of the Chinese Communist Party and the entire world landscape.