McConnell issues major warning to Democrats: GOP will back away from China competition bill if it pushes party line economic plan

China’s competitiveness bill has been under negotiation for months and is being closely watched by industry groups, including automakers, as it includes funding for the development of semiconductor chips that are in short supply .

House and Senate Democrats disagree on the proposal, stalling its progress, but the Kentucky Republican’s threat could derail the effort.

“Let me be perfectly clear: There will be no bipartisan USICA as long as Democrats pursue a partisan reconciliation bill,” McConnell tweeted, referring to the acronym for the competing bill. with China which means the US Innovation and Competition Act.

McConnell’s threat comes as Democrats pursue a bill that would include prescription drug price caps – as well as potential energy and climate provisions – through the budget process known as reconciliation. , which allows them to pass legislation along party lines.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia are in talks to find a way forward on this package, which would be more limited in scope than the Build Back Better bill that Manchin has sank at the end of last year.

But Democrats are still trying to hammer out a deal on the economic package before the August recess. If they continue to go down this path, McConnell warns that the China Competition Bill – which Schumer has championed since last year – will crumble.

Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer, responded to McConnell’s threat by saying, “Senator McConnell is holding American jobs hostage in key American industries to help China and protect his friends in big pharma, their making it possible to continue screwing Americans with outrageously high Rx drug prices.”

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