January 31, 2023

BREAKING NEWS – Senate approves $280 billion CHIP bill to build semiconductors and fight China: Biden says it’s ‘one answer’ for Americans worried about economy and cost of living

The Senate voted by a rare broad bipartisan vote to pass a $280 billion bill to fund domestic semiconductor chip production and boost competitiveness with China.

In a vote of 64-33, the Senate passed a bill known as CHIPS-plus, which has been in the works for more than a year. The bill now goes to the House where it is expected to be passed.

The package includes $52 billion in funding for US companies to manufacture computer chips and a 25 percent tax credit for companies investing in the market. It includes $39 billion for chip manufacturers to expand and modernize their technologies and $11 billion for the Commerce Department for research and development. It includes another $81 billion for the National Science Foundation.

Lawmakers hope to have the bill on President Biden’s desk for signature by early August. Biden celebrated the bill Wednesday as a way to “cut costs and create jobs.”

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“Because Americans are concerned about the state of the economy and the cost of living, the CHIPS bill is one answer… cutting prices on everything from cars to dishwashers.”

“It means more resilient U.S. supply chains, so we’re never so dependent on foreign countries for the critical technologies we need for U.S. consumers and national security.”

“We’ll look back at history and say this was a time when America really realized its responsibility to remain the leading economic and national security force in the world,” said Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who led the bill’s negotiations. “It’s a very, very important bill.”

The bill received support from 17 Republicans, including Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and members of his leadership team, including GOP Policy Committee Chair Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas and Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

Biden warned on Tuesday that China was “advanced” the US on chip manufacturing as he said the US relies on Taiwan for imports while China is encroaching on democracy on the island. He said the CHIPS law was a “national security obligation” as he claimed a third of “core” inflation was due to the high cost of vehicles, which require such chips to manufacture.

Opponents have criticized the industry tax breaks as an excessive subsidy to large tech companies.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders voted against the bill. Sens. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, did not vote after announcing they tested positive for covid and Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt., did not vote as he is recovering from surgery.

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