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Senate passes bill to boost computer chip production in US

A $280 billion plan offering federal grants and tax breaks for semiconductor companies to lift production in the US now awaits a House vote after clearing the Senate.

July 28, 2022
By KEVIN FREKING
28 July 2022

A bill designed to encourage more semiconductor companies to build chip plants in the US passed the Senate on Wednesday as lawmakers raced to finish work on a key priority of the Biden administration.

The $280 billion measure, which awaits a House vote, includes federal grants and tax breaks for companies that build their chip facilities in the US.

The legislation also directs Congress to significantly increase spending on high-tech research programs that lawmakers say will help the country stay economically competitive in the decades ahead.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill represented one of the nation’s largest investments in science and manufacturing in decades.e (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Senate passage came by a 64-33 vote. The House vote is expected later this week as lawmakers try to wrap up business before returning to their home states and districts in August.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she is confident there is enough support in the House to pass the bill before the upcoming recess.

Proponents of the legislation say other countries are spending billons of dollars to lure chipmakers.

Backers say the US must do the same or risk losing a secure supply of the semiconductors that power automobiles, computers, appliances and some of the military’s most advanced weapons systems.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said the bill represented one of the nation’s largest investments in science and manufacturing in decades and that with the Senate’s approval, “we say that America’s best years are yet to come.”

Biden said the US relied on Taiwan for the production of the most advanced chips and that China was also starting to move ahead of the US on the manufacturing of such chips.

“America invented the semiconductor. It’s time to bring it home,” Biden said.

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