Senate advances bill to boost domestic semiconductor industry

FILE – Technicians inspect a piece of equipment during a tour of the Micron Technology automotive chip manufacturing plant Feb. 11, 2022, in Manassas, Va. A bill to boost semiconductor production in the United States is making its way through the Senate is a top priority of the Biden administration. It would add about $79 billion to the deficit over 10 years, mostly as a result of new grants and tax breaks that would subsidize the cost that computer chip manufacturers incur when building or expanding chip plants in the U.S. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

The Senate voted 64 to 32 on Tuesday to advance legislation to provide $52 billion to the domestic semiconductor industry, $81 billion to the National Science Foundation and a 25 percent investment tax credit for semiconductor manufacturing.  

The vote brings the semiconductor bill closer to the finish line after more than a year of negotiations.

The Senate passed the first version of the legislation in June of last year, but it stalled after House Democrats objected to several of its provisions, and conference negotiations between the two chambers had bogged down in recent weeks.  

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) saved the bill by dropping several provisions objected to by the House, including a package of trade provisions negotiated by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) last year.  

Senate Republicans insisted on including the package of Miscellaneous Tariff Bill and the Generalized System of Preferences in the original version of the bill that passed last year.  

“It’s a major step for our economic security, our national security, our supply chains and, in fact, for America’s future, for America’s future,” Schumer said on the Senate floor before the vote.  

“I’m confident that future generations will look back on the passage of this chips and science bill as a turning point for American leadership in the 21st century,” he said.  

Seventeen Republicans voted to advance the measure, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman Roy Blunt (Mo.), and Sens. John Cornyn (Texas) and Rob Portman (Ohio), both members of the GOP leadership team. 

Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) and Senate GOP Conference Chairman John Barrasso (Wyo.) voted against the measure. 

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) praised the legislation as a boon to his state and said it would help revive American high-tech manufacturing.  

“A big reason for the inflation we see today is decades of offshoring our supply chains. We need to bring that production back home,” he said. “That’s what this bill is all about, investing more in America, making more in America.” 

The legislation would provide $20 billion for a National Science Foundation tech directorate and $10 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It would authorize several NASA programs, such as the Artemis Moon-to-Mars Exploration Campaign, maintenance of the International Space Station through 2030 and support for NASA science priorities.  

It would also grant $50 billion over 5 years for a CHIPS for America Fund and $11 billion over 5 years for Commerce Department research and workforce development programs. 

Tags Chuck Schumer John Cornyn Mike Crapo Mitch McConnell Ron Wyden Roy Blunt Semiconductor Sherrod Brown

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