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The Chip Bill has passed its first stage in the Senate. What new provisions have been added? Will it land smoothly?

via:凤凰网     time:2022/7/27 15:00:50     readed:118

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved a $52 billion investment bill aimed at subsidizing domestic semiconductor chip production in a procedural vote.

The procedural vote was originally scheduled for Monday evening, but was postponed until Tuesday morning after storms along the East Coast prevented some senators from flying into Washington. The final vote was 64 to 32.

The day's procedural vote cleared the way for the bill's final passage in the Senate in the coming days. If it eventually passes the Senate, the House will vote on the bill. Supporters of the bill hope Congress can pass it before its August recess, and it would eventually go to U.S. President Joe Biden for his signature.

The package, known as "CHIPS Plus," passed that day includes a provision for tax credits for chip makers, in addition to $52 billion in funding for U.S. companies that make computer CHIPS. In addition, more than 1,000 pages of funding for "stimulating innovation and development in other technologies" were added to the bill.

Add more than 1,000 additional pages of "Science Articles"

Among the so-called additional "science provisions" is a five-year, $102 billion investment authorizing the National Science Foundation, the Commerce Department and the National Institute of Standards and Science and Technology to increase investments in key areas of science and technology research and development. These key areas include artificial intelligence, quantum information science, robotics, disaster prevention and mitigation, biotechnology and cybersecurity, the bill said.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.) said she had held multiple rounds of closed-door consultations with senators from both parties, and several said they wouldn't vote for it unless a scientific annex was added.

"I remember members of Parliament talking to each other after meetings and saying, 'If we are behind in one area, why can't we be behind in others'." Mr. Cantwell said legislative aides on the Commerce Committee then began finalizing the legislative text of the science clause, adopting the parts of the meeting that senators had agreed on. A final version was reached on July 17th and shared with the Republican Party.

"I've always said that 995 of those 1,000 pages are pages that we've already seen together." "Cantwell said.

Before Tuesday's procedural vote in the Senate, Mr. Biden held an online meeting with U.S. business and labor representatives to discuss the importance of passing the bill. Biden said semiconductor chips are used in many products, including cars and mobile phones, medical devices and military weapons. Chip shortages have led to supply chain problems in several industries during the coronavirus pandemic.

"America invented semiconductors [chips], but for years we let their manufacturing be sent overseas, and it's time to bring them home." "And we saw during the pandemic, when our overseas factories that made those chips shut down, the global economy essentially ground to a halt, driving up the cost of living for families around the world, especially here in the United States."

"A third of core inflation in the US last year was due to overpriced cars. Do you know why that is? That's because more cars can't be made. Why is that? There is a chip shortage." Biden said.

Several lawmakers from both parties voted against it

The chip bill comes after months of debate, holdup and gridlock in Congress. While the bill was making early progress, several senators' COVID-19 diagnoses put the bill's progress on hold. During Tuesday's vote, Sens. Tina Smith (D., Minn.) and Thomas Carper (D., Delaware), both of whom were diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, appeared on the Senate floor wearing face masks.

Despite the bill's "bipartisan support," several leading senators voted against it that day, Including sens. Richard Shelby (r., ala.), PatrickToomey (r., pa.) and Tommy Tuberville (r., Alaska).

The senators said the bill, which had been amended several times, was so different from previous versions that it would be "premature" to skip debate and go straight to a vote. Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, said the bill amounted to another "blank check" for "profitable" chip companies.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.), one of the bill's sponsors, said she and Sen. Todd & Middot (R., Ind.), another of the bill's sponsors. Todd Young has spent two years finalizing and revising the details of the bill, so it is "not at all rushed."

U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Raimondo said investment in chip companies "comes with strings attached."

"I completely reject Senator Sanders's characterization. It's not a blank check." "There are a lot of strings attached to this bill," Raimondo said. Chip companies, for example, cannot use the money to build factories in other countries; The businesses that receive these investments must create high-quality jobs; They need to work with small contractors and minority contractors; The companies must also provide labor insurance, among other things. So to say this is a blank check is completely wrong."

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