Bet Against the COMPETES Act? Not For All the Tea in China.


Many people in this country think that China is the single biggest threat to their standard of living. This is due to the fact that they already jacked like 99% of the jobs in the Midwest.

But for Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden, the biggest threat to their standard of living is voters, due to the fact that leaders from the Democratic Party are currently getting worse grades from voters than my local Buffalo Wild Wings gets from the Health Department.

The confluence of these two threats — China’s rise to global power, and the Dems trying to dodge a brutal Cultural Revolution this November — is why this bet is a gimme:

Will USICA/COMPETES Act Pass (Kalshi)

Now, a brief reminder of what this bill does: It’s Chuck Schumer’s brainchild that he and some Republicans put together quietly over the summer. It’s aim is to accelerate growth in high-tech manufacturing & next generation industries to fend off competition from CHINA.

Or, in other words…

The COMPETES ACT is full of stuff that’s on every politician’s agenda:

  • Subsidizing industries in their home states
  • Talking trash about China
  • Keeping jobs in the USA
  • Having a really catchy acronym
  • Blaming the US’s problems on communists

Which is why a version of this bill has already passed both the House (HR 4521) and the Senate (S 1260).

In fact, on the Senate side, it gained 18 Republican votes, which is probably more than every other bill this year combined. Among those GOP votes were Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, and Roy Blunt — pretty much the whole GOP leadership team.

Of course, in the House, the vote was a partisan shitshow, but the bill did succeed. The important part is that the bill will soon head to a Conference Committee, which means that over the coming weeks and months, a small group of silver fox legislators will reconcile the differences between the House and Senate bill in a smoke-filled back room. Then, the final version will get a vote in each house.

Sounds like a shoe-in for passage this year, right?

Well, there are 4 big risks to this bet’s future:

  • First, the House and Senate never call a conference committee and let the bill die quietly.
  • Second, Kalshi’s market expires on election day, November 8, 2022. So maybe there is some partisan SNAFU or Vlad Putin decides to start World War III that could delay final passage.
  • Third, an important technicality: for YES to win, the final bill must be either HR 4521 or S 1260, the original legislative vehicles. It would not be unheard of for Congress to pull a fast one though and jam the bill text into something else if things at the Conference Committee go sideways.
  • Fourth, Chuck Schumer may not want to call it up without Sen. Ben Lujan back in the saddle. BTW, Sen. Lujan is currently recovering from a stroke. No clue how long neurons take to regenerate so uhhh….

Ultimately, I rate all of these outcomes as highly unlikely because…

  • The Democrats desperately need a win and this is an absolute lay-up
  • If Joe Biden is clever, he can also just say this bill is “Build Back Better” aka a more refined version of the lunatic spending spree that Joe Manchin iced last December
  • The fact that the House and Senate are going to resolve their differences with a Conference Committee all but eliminates the possibility of one chamber jamming this bill into something else as an amendment in the nature of a substitute (boring, but trust me).
  • All reports indicate that Ben Lujan will at it soon

This bill is so close to finished that even Chuck Schumer couldn’t mess it up.


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