Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Congress Should Pay For the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act

May 24, 2021 | Other Spending

For Immediate Release

The Senate is continuing to work on the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 this week, a bill aimed at boosting American competitiveness. The Senate is slated to consider an amendment that, among other policies, includes $52 billion of emergency appropriations focused on funding semiconductor production incentives and research over the next five years. The following is a statement from Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: 

While improving America’s technological and economic competitiveness is an extremely important priority, we shouldn’t be borrowing from China to compete with them. We aren’t going to build a stronger, more resilient economy by going even further in debt. 

Rather than deficit-financing this bill, policymakers should identify revenue increases or spending reductions to fully offset the cost.

The emergency designation for funding the bill is questionable at best. Emergency funding should be for temporary provisions that are necessary, sudden, urgent, and unforeseen – not appropriations that start next fiscal year and will continue five years in the future. Ideally, this funding would be enacted as part of a broader national economic strategy, which should be reflected in a federal budget.

It’s always encouraging to see the parties work together to strengthen the U.S. economy. But if we really want to win the 21st century, we need to get our fiscal house in order. That means having a budget and paying for new priorities.

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For more information, please contact Ben Tomchik, deputy chief of staff, at tomchik@crfb.org.