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Investing in A New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CRAWFORD. Madam Speaker, I have a motion to recommit at the desk.

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Mr. CRAWFORD. Madam Speaker, I am opposed to the bill in its current form.

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Mr. CRAWFORD. Madam Speaker, this amendment will not kill the bill, but will instead ensure that the Democrats' partisan wish list does not result in a windfall for the Chinese state-owned enterprises.

This amendment would prevent companies owned or controlled by the Chinese regime or the Chinese Communist Party from participating in any project or receiving any fund authorized by this bill.

This is particularly important given the hundreds of billions of dollars for programs like power grid transmission and distribution projects and broadband infrastructure investment.

We can't afford to allow the Chinese Government to take control of our power grid or broadband system, and we all know that allowing Chinese companies to compete for these projects often opens the door to Chinese Government control.

Time and time again, China has demonstrated its hostility to America's interests and international standards of transparency and accountability, while violating basic human morality.

China's industrial plan makes their goal clear: Dominate global innovation and manufacturing by any means necessary. China is buying and stealing American technology explicitly to overtake our semiconductor, robotic, and electric vehicle industries.

Already, China owns a majority of the world's lithium-ion battery production, more than 60 percent. And the Chinese Government is continually investing to increase that capacity. Already, China exports the most lithium-ion batteries and components of any other country, more than 6 times what the United States exports.

And Chinese Government subsidies are slated to expand their battery production more than 2\1/2\ times by 2026.

We have seen what happens when Chinese-Government sponsored companies like Huawei gain a foothold with telecom products, we succumb to state- directed domination of a U.S. industry, and we leave ourselves vulnerable to national security threats, espionage, and IP theft.

Without ensuring that this bill's $1.5 trillion spending spree on electric vehicles and other technologies are manufactured by American companies or countries that play by the rules, we will simply be aiding China in achieving its goals.

The issue of protecting our critical infrastructure is a goal many of us share.

In fact, the White House has already taken action to prevent foreign infiltration of our power grid through an executive order on bulk power systems earlier this year, and is working with industry to phase out the use of technology produced in China.

However, I make this motion not just because of China's economic policies. The Chinese Government is responsible for: government censorship of publications, media, and social media;

The blatant theft of American intellectual property;

Refusal to abide by World Trade Organization rules;

Choosing not to report the coronavirus outbreak for months; and

Frequent mistreatment of minority ethic groups within its borders.

Just this week, Madam Speaker, we learned that in addition to the many atrocities China has committed against the Uighur people, it is now committing genocide.

Hundreds of thousands of women are being subjected to nonconsensual implantation of birth control, forced sterilization, and even forced abortion of their unborn children.

We have a moral obligation to ensure that no government treats its citizens this way, and none of its state-sponsored companies that help them do it benefit from the majority's spending spree.

But that is what we are doing if we pass this massive spending bill that encourages purchasing products mined and manufactured in China. We invest in their companies and sponsor their tyranny rather than supporting American workers and families.

Madam Speaker, a Democrat amendment applying these restrictions to a portion of the bill already passed 62 to 1 during the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee markup.

In an otherwise hyper-partisan markup, where Democrats refused to accept many Republican-led amendments, it was perhaps the most bipartisan moment--the ``where's the meatloaf,'' mute violation notwithstanding--supported by Chairman DeFazio. We can do that again here, Madam Speaker.

Adopting this amendment will not kill the bill and not stop the majority from sending its wish list on to the Senate with no plan to pay for it.

But the bare minimum we can do is come together to say that as we build American infrastructure we also build up America, not China.

During the markup of H.R. 2, the chairman said he didn't care if China was listening in on our discussions, so let's send a clear message to China now.

Madam Speaker, I urge adoption of the motion to recommit.

Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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Mr. CRAWFORD. Madam Speaker, parliamentary inquiry.

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Mr. CRAWFORD. Madam Speaker, is it appropriate for the gentleman to make comments about the President of the United States on the floor as he did?

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Mr. CRAWFORD. Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

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