Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s remarks.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee and a Senate conferee for the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA), today addressed her fellow conferees at a public meeting on the legislation.

Earlier this month, Ranking Member Capito offered a motion on the Senate floor requiring conferees of USICA to emphasize the president cannot use climate change as a basis for declaring an “emergency” or “national disaster” or invoke the Defense Production Act in order to expand executive power under existing laws. The motion passed by a bipartisan vote of 49-47.

Ranking Member Capito’s remarks, as prepared for delivery:

“Chair Cantwell, Ranking Member Wicker—

“I am glad that we are holding today’s initial meeting of conferees as we work to finalize legislation that will improve American competitiveness in the face of growing challenges from China and other adversaries.

“In order to maintain America’s position as the global economic and innovation leader, we must make the necessary investments to keep up with our competitors and win the future.

“That includes investing in research and development, science and technology, manufacturing, education, and preparing our workforce to meet the needs of tomorrow’s economy.

“The Senate bill does just that by helping to bring chip manufacturing back to our country, which is critical as most have mentioned in their statements.

“It includes support for our Department of Energy labs like the National Energy Technology Lab in Morgantown, West Virginia.

“And it makes sure that all parts of our country—including rural areas—receive research and education funding, which have been impactful for institutions like West Virginia University and Marshall University back home.

“I am one of the 18 Republicans who voted to pass the Senate legislation last year.

“Like any bipartisan legislation, the Senate bill is not perfect.

“But it was the result of compromise to reach our shared goal of legislating to improve America’s competitiveness.

“The House bill is a partisan product stocked full of left-wing priorities and spending.

“For example, the House bill authorizes $8 billion to the Green Climate Fund – a fund that Congress has declined to provide funding for since fiscal year 2016.

“The bill also authorizes $2 billion per year – indefinitely – to address climate change internationally by paying for other countries to transition to cleaner energy, explicitly requiring funds to “facilitat[e] the transition” away from fossil fuel power and improve the availability of electric vehicles.

“It allows for these funds to be provided to international multilateral funds – such as the Green Climate Fund—the world’s largest multinational fund devoted to climate change.

“This is not what this opportunity is all about.

“The House includes a pilot program at the Economic Development Administration, originally included in the Build Back Better legislation, that is authorized to receive $1 billion per year, more than triple the agency’s entire annual budget.

“I want to see us reach agreement on legislation that advances American technology and innovation.

“But doing that clearly does not mean meeting halfway between the Senate’s bipartisan bill and the left-wing legislation that passed the House.

“The final conference report must mirror the Senate bill’s bipartisan balance if we are to have a successful legislative result.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to complete a legislative package that will preserve and expand our nation’s global economic leadership.

“Thank you, Madam Chair.” 

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