Durbin Urges Final Passage Of Bipartisan U.S. Innovation And Competition Act On Senate Floor

Durbin: By passing USICA, we can stand up for American workers, and American values

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) urged his colleagues to negotiate the Senate-passed U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (USICA) and House-passed America COMPETES Act and bring the conferenced bill to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The House bill passed on Friday.

In June, Durbin voted to pass USICA, legislation that represents the largest investment in U.S. science and technology leadership since the Apollo era.

“Last year, for the first time in more than two decades, America’s economy grew faster than China’s. That is incredible,” said Durbin. “Let’s keep that streak going by passing USICA – the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.”

Durbin went on to thank Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) for their leadership on this bill.

Durbin continued, “USICA will boost U.S competitiveness with China and help reindustrialize America, make investments in manufacturing and research, provide seed money to create good, new jobs. Importantly, it includes $52 million for research and designing and manufacturing semiconductor chips.”

Durbin concluded, “Let’s agree to make those chip here in America, and not be dependent on importing them from China. USICA also allows for new sanctions against China for human rights violations.  We can stand up for American workers, and American values.”

USICA will authorize more than $100 billion over five years to support breakthrough scientific discovery and technological innovation in 10 key areas that are vital to building an innovation economy and winning the good-jobs race for the 21st century. The bill increases funding for National Science Foundation activities. Durbin pushed for this funding authorization, and has supported increased scientific and biomedical research funding over the past six years in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

It also includes a Durbin provision helping American farmers and manufacturers by requiring the administration to develop a plan to significantly boost U.S. exports to Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The measure was part of a Durbin bill expanded and supported by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.