Competing With China Requires Funding Defense & Strengthening our Economy
‘This body has long tackled real infrastructure on a commonsense, bipartisan basis and ended up with bills that pass by big, lopsided, bipartisan votes. That’s what Republicans are prepared to do again. That’s the path I discussed with President Biden at the White House yesterday. It was a good meeting. And that’s the road that the practical proposal from Senator Capito and a number of my fellow Republican Senators would start us down.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding China:
“While Senators were back in our home states last week, the Washington Post ran this headline: ‘Chinese greenhouse gas emissions now larger than those of developed countries combined.’
“China is out-emitting the United States, India, and the entire European Union, combined. They’re now responsible for more than a fourth of the entire world’s emissions.
“And Beijing admits they aren’t even planning for their emissions to start declining for another decade.
“It’s a clear reality check: No matter how much self-inflicted pain the far left might want to impose on American workers and families, it would barely make any dent in the global calculus.
“Remember, with the United States outside the Paris agreement, our emissions fell on our own even as our economy grew. Meanwhile countries inside that deal, like China, have kept roaring on by.
“Strangely, this didn’t stop the Biden Administration from rushing to rejoin the failed deal.
“And this is just one of the ways in which American competitiveness has recently seemed to take a back seat.
“This White House canceled a pipeline project that would have increased energy security and supported thousands of American jobs.
“They froze exploration of domestic resources that helped our nation become a net energy exporter for the first time since the 1950s.
“And after we just spent four years beginning to rebuild and modernize our national defense, this Administration indicated they’ll propose to cut defense funding after inflation.
“Fewer resources for our troops. Fewer tools to keep pace with China. They want to play year-to-year games while our adversaries and competitors plan years and decades in advance.
“As former Defense Secretary Bob Gates put it in an interview this week, cutting spending on our military would be, quote, ‘a terrible mistake.’ That’s President Obama’s Defense Secretary, Bob Gates.
“There could not be a more dangerous approach for the United States. Shortchanging the Pentagon and making America less competitive
“The first draft of a so-called ‘jobs bill’ that the White House put forward would play into the same dangerous dynamic.
“I’m talking about the multi-trillion-dollar proposal that spends less than 6% on roads and bridges.
“The plan that Ivy League economists say would cost hundreds of billions more than the White House says; push American workers’ wages down; and somehow manage to shrink our economy despite taxing, borrowing, and spending trillions more dollars.
“That’s not a plan to make America stronger and more competitive. It’s a plan to pile up debt to leave us even weaker. It would be better news for Beijing than for our own citizens.
“That’s the bad news. The good news is that the Senate can do better.
“This body has long tackled real infrastructure on a commonsense, bipartisan basis and ended up with bills that pass by big, lopsided, bipartisan votes.
“That’s what Republicans are prepared to do again. That’s the path I discussed with President Biden at the White House yesterday. It was a good meeting. And that’s the road that the practical proposal from Senator Capito and a number of my fellow Republican Senators would start us down.
“If our Democratic friends are finally ready to reach across the aisle and work together to locate common ground, I am hopeful we can do a lot of good for the country and compete with China for real.”
Related Issues: China