Lucas: Congress Should Debate Smart Infrastructure Bill

Mike Seals - June 30, 2020 9:21 pm

Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas

Lucas: Congress is Debating Green New Deal Wish List Instead of Smart Infrastructure Bill

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, today spoke on the House Floor in opposition to House Democrats’ H.R. 2- the Moving Forward Act. Ranking Member Lucas highlighted the need for a bipartisan, meaningful infrastructure bill to further support the transportation of goods and to fuel America’s economic growth.

Lucas noted that the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has long had jurisdiction of the Research & Development title of Congress’ infrastructure bill, but House Democrats failed to include the Committee’s bipartisan research title in the Moving Forward Act.

Click here to view the remarks.

Remarks as prepared:

Mr. Speaker, I rise not only in opposition to this bill, but to the entire process of writing it. 

We’re in the middle of a pandemic the likes of which we haven’t seen for over a century. If ever there were a time for Congress to put aside partisanship and work together to create thoughtful legislation, it is now. 

And yet here we are, debating a $1.5 TRILLION Green New Deal wish list instead of a smart infrastructure bill.

That’s a problem, because we need solid infrastructure to transport goods and materials to stay economically competitive. China has listed transportation R&D as one of its target areas to surpass the U.S. 

We’re letting them take the lead. 

That’s what happens when you draft legislation without consulting the minority or even the Committees with jurisdiction over a bill. 

The Science Committee worked together to produce a bipartisan research title, but it was not even considered as part of this legislation. Furthermore, provisions related to aviation R&D and space were airdropped into the package without consulting us. This process has shut out Members of both parties. 

It’s no wonder this bill is flawed. 

What’s more, when combined with the last bill, Democrats have proposed $4.5 trillion in partisan spending, and yet they haven’t addressed one of the single most important things we can do to fight COVID-19 and fuel America’s economic growth: investing in scientific research.  

I’ve introduced a bill to double spending on basic research and keep us at the forefront of scientific development. I’ve also cosponsored the bipartisan RISE Act to restart American research. 

Taken together, these bills turn the engine of American research back on and fuel a long-term plan for our success.

That’s the kind of legislation we should be considering today: bipartisan bills that provide immediate relief and long-term strategy. 

This is a missed opportunity, and no way to run a railroad. Our country needs smart policies and not empty performances right now. I urge my colleagues to vote against this bill so we can go back to the drawing board and do this right. Americans deserve no less. 


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