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Senate passes bill to boost computer chip production in US

WASHINGTON (AP) – A bill designed to encourage more semiconductor companies to build chip plants in the United States passed the Senate on Wednesday as lawmakers raced to finish work on a key priority of the Biden administration. .

The $280 billion measure, which is awaiting a vote in the House, includes federal grants and tax breaks for companies that build their chip facilities in the US. economic competitiveness in the coming decades.

The Senate’s passage came with a vote of 64-33. A House vote is expected later this week as lawmakers try to wrap up business before returning to their states and districts in August. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she is confident she has enough GOP support to overcome potential splits from Democrats who are eyeing the subsidy effort to boost semiconductor companies. as a false priority.

Proponents of the legislation say other countries are spending billions of dollars to woo chipmakers. Backers say the US must do the same or risk losing a secure supply of the semiconductors that power cars, computers, appliances and some of the military’s most advanced weapons systems.

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

Opponents criticized the price of the bill. It is projected to increase federal deficits by about $79 billion over 10 years.

President Joe Biden said the bill would create jobs and lower costs for a wide range of products from cars to dishwashers.

“For decades, some ‘experts’ have said we should stop manufacturing in America. I don’t believe that at all. Manufacturing jobs are coming back,” Biden said. “Thanks to this bill, more they. The House must pass it immediately and send this bill to my desk.

The bill has been in the works for a long time, starting with the efforts of Schumer and Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., to increase government investment in high tech research and development. While the bill took many twists and turns, a recurring theme that lawmakers emphasized in Wednesday’s debate was the need to continue China’s massive investment in cutting-edge technology.

The Chinese government plans to “win the (artificial intelligence) race, win future wars and win the future,” Young said. “And the truth is, if we’re honest with ourselves, Beijing is already well on its way to achieving these goals.”

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said, “Unfortunately, we are not in the driver’s seat of various important technologies. China.” Congress, he said, now has “an opportunity to put us back in the right direction and put America back in a place to win the game.”

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