Senate Clears Semiconductor Funding Bill

A picture of semiconductor chip production

The Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act on Tuesday by a 68-32 bipartisan vote. The bill contained legislative pieces designed to improve U.S. competitiveness with China.

Included in the bill is $52 billion to support domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

The bill is expected to pass the House and President Joe Biden has said he will sign it. Biden thanked Senate co-sponsors after passage.

“I applaud the United States Senate — led by the dedicated efforts of Majority Leader Schumer and Sens. Todd Young, Maria Cantwell, and Roger Wicker — for coming together to pass the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act,” Biden said. “It is long past time that we invest in American workers and American innovation. (The bill) will empower us to discover, build, and enhance tomorrow’s most vital technologies — from artificial intelligence, to computer chips, to the lithium batteries used in smart devices and electric vehicles — right here in the United States.”

Schumer, who worked with Republican Indiana Sen. Young as the bill’s lead sponsors, called their work “historic legislation.”

“(Passage) will shore up critical industries like semiconductors, artificial intelligence, advanced communications like 5G, quantum computing, biotechnology, and advanced energy, and create opportunity to reshape the upstate New York economy with investment in new regional tech hubs and support for New York entrepreneurs and research at universities and laboratories,” he said.

Biden added by strengthening the country’s innovation infrastructure, the foundation for new jobs and leadership would be laid.

“We are in a competition to win the 21st century, and the starting gun has gone off,” he said. “As other countries continue to invest in their own research and development, we cannot risk falling behind.”

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