Another Grab-bag Bill: What Might It Mean for US Climate policy?

Joel B. Stronberg
6 min readFeb 4, 2022

We’re not going to get distracted this time, and the Democratic leadership in both the House and the Senate will see this thing across the goal line. The Senate bill is perhaps the most bold and comprehensive China compet-itiveness legislation that our country has ever passed.

Senator Todd C. Young (R-IN),

With all the guff going on in Washington these days, it’s rather remarkable that Republicans and Democrats have managed — on occasion — actually to accomplish something positive. Standouts over the last twelve months include the pandemic relief bills and the bipartisan infrastructure framework.

Will there be more? What an excellent question. I wish I had an equally excellent answer — which is not to say I have no answer.

It turns out there’s a new opportunity in town. It puts aside — for a moment at least — the gaping partisanship that’s marred and stalled American politics for decades.

Last June,[i] the Senate passed the $250 billion United States Innovation and Competition Act[ii] (S. 1260 or USICA) by a 68 to 32 vote of the Senate. The action is now in the House as the America Competes Act of 2022 (H.R.4521). Once the House passes its version, they will go to a conference committee of the House and Senate to reconcile their differences.

Before downloading a copy of the bill(s), readers should know they’ll be looking at three thousand pages., my go-to place for bill status and text, warns that the download may take several minutes or possibly cause your browser to become unresponsive. The table of contents alone is 46 pages long.

It’s the habit these days to put together massive bills covering a vast range of issues. The Build Back Better Act was one of the smaller bills — tipping the scales at 1,100 pages.

President Biden has indicated his support for the House bill commending the lower chamber for taking an important step forward…in advancing legislation that will make our supply chains stronger and reinvigorate the innovation engine of our economy to outcompete China and the rest of the world for decades to come. (Emphasis added)

Joel B. Stronberg

Stronberg is a thought leader in the climate community with over 40 years of experience covering environmental and sustainability issues as a freelancer.