House votes to support US-made semiconductor chips

Suspension

The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday on the $280 billion Chips and Science Act, a bill that would support domestic semiconductor manufacturing and invest billions in science and technology innovation, in an effort to boost U.S. competitiveness and self-reliance in what is seen As an industry essential to economic and national security.

The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday by 64 votes to 33. Days ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said there would also be bipartisan support for passing the bill in the House and pledged to send it to President Biden’s office as soon as possible. At the time, House Republicans planned to allow their rank and file to vote on their conscience on the bill.

However, after Wednesday night’s startling news of a deal between Mon. Joe Manchin III (DW.Va.) and Democratic leaders In a separate climate, healthcare and tax bill, House GOP leaders are urging members to oppose the chip bill as punishment, potentially disenfranchising Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DNY) Legislative victory.

Before the House Republicans decided to whip against the chip bill, proponents of the legislation thought they could get a significant amount of Republican support — perhaps as many as 20 votes, according to people familiar with the vote count who spoke on condition of anonymity. Discuss the matter freely. They said House GOP leaders still expect some defections, but not a huge number.

Some members of the Progressive Caucus in Congress were very sensitive to the bill – Mon. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was publicly critical of him and voted against him on Wednesday — and there are concerns his passage could be threatened if lawmakers’ support wanes.

Democratic leadership aides are sending a telegram that they’ve got the votes, but some liberals are waiting to hear Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s offer to them during a virtual meeting on Thursday afternoon before making a final decision. re \ come back. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), president of the Progressive Caucus, told Punchbowl News she had reassuring discussions with Raimondo about protective barriers in the chip bill that prevent companies receiving federal funding from using the money for share buybacks.

On the House floor on Thursday, minority leader Kevin McCarthy (California) slammed the bill as a “$280 billion blank check” for the semiconductor industry, saying he had always opposed it. re \ come back. Jay Richenthaler (R-Pen) criticized the legislation as only benefiting “one industry,” and several Republican lawmakers urged their fellow Republicans to vote “no.”

re \ come back. Joseph Morell (DN.Y.) responded by saying that there are quite a few industries that do not use semiconductor chips.

“Chips run everything. So, whether files Mobile phone, laptop, car, it really isn’t issue. “Kids’ toys have chips inside,” Morell said. “And the truth is that we have lost our competitive advantage… It is not about one industry. It is about every industry.”

Later, Morrell read aloud on the House floor a tribute to the legislation — from Senate Republicans who had voted to pass it just the day before.

Biden said the legislation was a top priority on his agenda, and called on Congress to bring the bill to its desk as soon as possible. On Wednesday, he hailed the bill as one of the solutions to Americans’ concerns about the state of the economy and the cost of living.

“It will accelerate semiconductor manufacturing in America and lower prices on everything from cars to dishwashers,” Biden said in a statement. It will also create jobs – well-paying jobs here in the United States. It will mean more resilient US supply chains, so we never depend on foreign countries for the critical technologies we need for American consumers and national security.”

If the bill is passed, about $52 billion would go to microchip manufacturers to spur the construction of domestic semiconductor manufacturing plants — or “Fabs” — to make chips that are used in a variety of products, including cars, cell phones, medical equipment and military weapons. Shortages of semiconductor chips during the coronavirus pandemic have caused prices to rise and supply chain disruptions in many industries.

The bill also includes about $100 billion in licenses over five years for programs such as expanding the work of the National Science Foundation and creating regional technology centers to support startups in areas of the country that have not traditionally attracted significant technology funding.

In a White House meeting with business and labor leaders on Monday, Raimondo noted that the United States used to make 40 percent of the world’s chips but now makes about 12 percent — and “none of the leading chips,” which come almost entirely from Taiwan.

Raimundo said the US has invested “almost nothing” in semiconductor manufacturing, while China has invested $150 billion to build its domestic capacity. She also said it was critical for the United States to be able to compete with countries that subsidize semiconductor companies to build factories.

“Chip financing will be the deciding factor in where these companies choose to expand,” Raimondo said. We want and need them to expand here in the United States.

The legislation includes provisions that would prohibit companies from building most types of new semiconductor manufacturing facilities in China “or any other foreign country of interest” for a decade after receiving federal funding.

Jane Wallen contributed to this report.

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