Congressional Update: Build Back Better Battles; U.S. – China Competition

Last week, the House and Senate left Washington, DC for a two-week recess period. While members are spending the weeks campaigning in the district, many are preparing for what the remainder of this year’s legislative session may hold.

A priority for many Republicans and Democrats is passing the U.S. – China Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) aimed to better position US competitiveness towards China by investing in semiconductors, R&D, and education.

A second priority for Democrats is passing some version of the stalled Build Back Better (“BBB”) Act.

As we have reported previously, moderate Senators Manchin (D-WV) and Sinema (D-AZ) continue to withhold support for President Biden’s large tax-and-spend reconciliation package.

However, Senator Manchin has said that he is outlining a slimmed down version of the BBB that would include $500 billion in clean energy investments, with a focus on innovation and not elimination (meaning not specifically punishing or eliminating oil, gas, and coal production).

While Senator Manchin can certainly influence the future of the BBB, his proposal would be paid for, in part, by increasing taxes on corporations, capital gains, and the wealthiest Americans.

Senator Sinema has been adamant in her opposition to any tax increase.

On 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, President Biden is confronted with the ongoing Ukraine/Russia conflict and rising inflation. Last week, inflation surged to 8.5 percent, the highest in over 40 years.

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