Every Republican has begun to offer amendments to the $3.5 trillion tax-and-spend package crafted by Democrats, and Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski have jumped in with their amendments.
Sullivan today proposed one that would ensure that federal funds, subsidies, or tax credits for material needed to build out the nation’s energy sector is sourced by the United States, or its allies — not by Communist China.
“This would help ensure a robust, secure supply chain that doesn’t rely on forced labor, and also provide good-paying jobs, and strengthen our economy and our national security,” he said in a statement. “If we are going to build out our domestic renewable energy industry, we need to have an honest conversation about where we are sourcing these materials,” Sullivan said.
“We cannot continue to be dependent on China for critical minerals—resources that are crucial to our economy and national security, and which we have in abundance in the U.S., particularly in Alaska. We also cannot continue to allow extreme environmentalists to dictate our country’s energy policy and block domestic mineral production. By developing our national supply chains and processing capabilities, we can create thousands of good-paying jobs, protect our national interests, deny economic support for violators of basic human rights and build out America’s all-of-the-above energy sector,” Sullivan said.
Democrats will fight the amendment because it would mean a return to responsible mining in the U.S., something the Democrats don’t want, so long as the country can get materials at the expense of other nations’ environment and people.
Solar energy technology is now produced by China, which uses exploitive labor practices, including forced labor.
“The United States is dangerously reliant on China for roughly 80 percent of both the processing and manufacturing of minerals, rare earth elements, and metals vital to the America’s renewable energy sector and national security,” Sullivan said. “The U.S. is currently 100 percent reliant on other countries for 14 critical minerals and more than 75 percent reliant for an additional 10 critical minerals.”
Both Sullivan and Sen. Lisa Murkowski stated they will not vote for the massive spending package, but as long as it appears live, they will at least have amendments — even if they are poison pills that they know won’t pass. The Sullivan amendment did pass, 90-9.
The bill is likely to pass with the 50 Democrat votes plus Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie, but that eventuality is weeks, perhaps months away.
Earlier Tuesday, the $1.1 trillion infrastructure package passed the Senate and went to the House to await action.