WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott spoke on the Senate floor and filed a budget point of order against the CHIPS Act, a pro-China bill with a $280 BILLION price tag. Senator Scott also filed an amendment to the CHIPS Act to place safeguards around the funds to ensure that no American tax dollars flow to Communist China, but Senate Democrats led by Senator Chuck Schumer, are refusing to amend or improve the bill. In his speech, Senator Scott spoke about his amendment and encouraged his colleagues to vote against the bill which will raise the deficit and cause inflation levels to rise even higher.
Read Senator Scott’s remarks as prepared for delivery below. Watch his speech HERE or below.
“Florida families hear a lot of talk up here in Washington about inflation. Right now, inflation is raging over 9 percent across America. I was warning about the coming inflation crisis back in February of last year, but now, basically everyone in the Senate – Republicans and Democrats alike – have joined me in talking about just how horrific this is for families in our states.
“In Florida, inflation is costing families nearly $800 more every month. Imagine being a family on a fixed income and having to pay double rent each month, or adding a luxury car payment to your monthly expenses. That’s essentially what families in my state are dealing with since Joe Biden took office. It’s a new tax on families at every income level – a tax created by the sheer incompetence of Joe Biden – and it hurts our poorest families, like mine growing up, the very most.
“Now we know what causes this inflation – it’s reckless government spending. On this side of the political aisle, we aren’t afraid to tell this truth – but our Democrat colleagues, with the exception of one or two, won’t do it. That’s fine. You’d probably imagine that in a 50-50 Senate, we’d still be able to hold the line and stop reckless spending in its tracks. Nope. Not in broken Washington. Here in Washington, the only thing we can seem to get bipartisan consensus on is digging America deeper and deeper into debt. It happens again and again. And with each new dollar of debt, and each new round of reckless spending, we throw gasoline on the raging inflation fire burning across America. And as I speak here now, it’s about to happen again.
“This week, the Senate will very likely pass a so-called “China bill” that spends $280 billion we don’t have. We are not burning our savings here. We are borrowing $280 billion to do this. This is why the American people hate Congress. They see politicians stand up in their neighborhoods and pledge to fight the waste in Washington and then watch as those same politicians become the very problem they vowed to fix. It’s disgusting and it happens up here all the time.
“So let’s talk about this bill that we are set to vote on this week. Democrats, and some Republicans, will suggest that it will help combat the threats we face from Beijing. There’s just one problem: this bill doesn’t help us combat Communist China at all. On Monday of last week, this bill cost $76 billion, and was 73 pages long. Two days later, Senator Schumer turned it into a $250 billion version. Now, it’s a more than 1,000-page, $280 billion monster chock full of reckless spending and bad policy that gives Joe Biden a wide-open door to push his radical policies.
“The bill ballooned in size and price because Senator Schumer inserted massive slush funds for the National Science Foundation. This same entity has burned billions of taxpayer dollars on insane projects like creating a towel-folding robot, or studying how shrimp run on treadmills. I wish I was making this up, but I’m not. This bill doubles the National Science Foundation’s budget over the next five years and gives millions to universities that already have a problem with spies from Communist China stealing intellectual property and data.
“Does the bill increase protections to stop this or better protect tax dollars? Nope. No wonder the debt is surging over $30 trillion and inflation is over 9 percent. Washington is broken. It just can’t stop wasting your money.
“So what else does this bill do? A huge part of it is a massive giveaway to chip makers, like Intel. You know Intel – the world’s largest semiconductor maker that saw $20 billion in profit last year and paid its CEO $180 million. They’re not exactly struggling these days, but politicians in Washington want to give them billions of your money with no strings attached. There are no requirements to see a return on investment. There are no provisions to claw-back dollars if they don’t do what they’re supposed to. There is nothing for accountability. What’s worse, these large chipmakers have lobbied hard to weaken the bill so they can keep doing business in Communist China. And guess what…Washington caved and they got exactly what they wanted.
“Massive, multi-billion-dollar corporations like Intel will get American’s hard-earned tax dollars to build manufacturing plants, get tax write-offs for those plants, and get a tax credit. These chip makers are getting paid three ways with your tax money and they will still be allowed to work and expand in Communist China. There’s nothing stopping them from moving funds around to increase their business in Communist China, or any other market for that matter. There is no requirement for them to build a certain number of plants here in the United States. There are no quotas that they need to hit so Americans can be sure we will never have to rely on risky supply chains. And even if Communist China invades Taiwan – which supplies nearly two-thirds of the world’s semiconductors – the companies who get your tax dollars in this bill will still be allowed to operate in Communist China while receiving your money.
“This bill isn’t anti-China. It’s pro-China. It's going to cause more inflation, more debt, and create more deficits. There is no accountability, it doesn't make any sense.
“Now, there is a heck of a lot we can do to re-shore our supply chains, and ensure Chinese spies don’t steal our technology. All things this bill purports to do – but doesn’t. For more than a year now I’ve been fighting this bloated bill, while at the same time introducing other legislation with my colleagues to economically decouple from Communist China, strengthen our defense networks and stand up to Xi Jinping’s abuses.
“I want to solve problems. I’m open to good investments, but they have to be done with accountability to the American people. That’s why I introduced an amendment to this bill to ensure that no tax dollars in it go to benefit Communist China. My amendment will do four things:
“First, my amendment will eliminate all the exemptions that are currently in the bill that allow semiconductor companies who take U.S. taxpayer dollars to expand and continue their operations in Communist China. Money is fungible, and we should make perfectly clear that these American tax dollars should only be benefitting Americans. Some have called this a national security investment. If that’s true, then we should make sure it builds up America’s security, not Communist China’s.
“Second, my amendment will require the Secretary of Commerce to certify to Congress that the Department has completed a return-on-investment analysis of a proposed grant. That analysis must show the grant will be a net positive for taxpayers, and prevent distribution of that grant until the Secretary certifies the analysis and makes it public. In business and government, I’ve made countless deals. I never want to make an investing deal where I’m unsure whether I’m getting a return on my money. Americans understand this. If we’re going to be investing taxpayer dollars, we need to make smart investments that will get a real return.
“Third, my amendment will require companies receiving funds disbursed from the CHIPS Act to enter into a three-part agreement with the Commerce Secretary specifying that they will: one, not engage in any transaction involving the expansion of chip manufacturing capacity in Communist China; two, refuse to cooperate with the Communist Chinese government moving forward; and three, commit to immediately ceasing all operations in Communist China if it invades Taiwan. As I mentioned before – the bill in its current form does nothing to stop chipmakers from expanding operations in Communist China and has loads of exceptions specifically allowing these companies to keep working there. That is insane. We cannot allow that. If people want to call this an anti-China bill, then let’s make it an anti-China bill and stop doing business in Communist China.
“Fourth, my amendment will ensure that all U.S. tax dollars are clawed back if any company breaks that three-part agreement with the Commerce Secretary, and would require the Commerce Secretary to ensure that the company could repay the money if they break the agreement. If you break a contract, there are consequences. Everyone knows that, and it’s crazy that this bill doesn’t already have those provisions. If we don’t change this bill, a vote for it is a vote for higher inflation. It’s a vote to help Communist China, and it’s a vote to add to our already $30 trillion debt.
“My amendment isn’t controversial. This is commonsense stuff. It will improve the bill and add the kinds of safeguards Americans should expect from legislators handling their hard-earned tax dollars. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the Democrat majority leader is interested in having a vote on my commonsense amendment…but that shouldn’t surprise the American public. They have come to expect this sort of dysfunction under Democrat leadership. The Democrats love to pretend that they are fighting against corporate special interests, but what the Majority Leader is pushing forward right now is one of the grossest gifts to corporate America I have ever seen.
“The families in our states deserve and expect better than what this delivers. Our nation is in the midst of a historic inflation crisis that is destroying the dreams and hard-earned savings of millions of families across America. Our answer to that crisis cannot be to throw gasoline on the fire and walk away. We can and must do more to combat the threats posed by Communist China. Members of this body – on both sides of the aisles – have great ideas that do that. But this bill isn’t one of them.
“I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill, or at a minimum, join me in demanding that my amendment be adopted so we can better protect the massive amount of tax dollars being spent here. I also urge my colleagues not to turn a blind eye to the new debt this bill creates. As I said earlier, this bill borrows $280 billion we don’t have. We have to stop this.
“That’s why I am raising a budget point of order. When we keep borrowing and spending money we don’t have, it’s terrible for our country. A vote to waive my point of order is a vote to approve more debt which means more inflation.”
Read more about Sen. Scott’s fight against the wasteful “CHIPS Act”:
- July 25, 2022: Sen. Rick Scott in the Wall Street Journal: Resist the Chips Act, or at least make it tougher on China
- July 22, 2022: Sen. Rick Scott Issues Weekly Update on Biden’s Inflation Crisis
- July 21, 2022: Rick Scott blasts computer chip bill as giveaway to Big Tech: 'No return but inflation'
- July 20, 2022: Sen. Rick Scott: A Vote for the CHIPS Act is a Vote for More Inflation