Overnight Finance

On The Money — China competition bill becomes law

Joe Biden
FILE – President Joe Biden attends an event to support legislation that would encourage domestic manufacturing and strengthen supply chains for computer chips in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, March 9, 2022, in Washington. Just hours before Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell threatened to block a bill to revive the U.S. computer chip sector, senior Biden aides met on a Thursday morning to plan for that exact scenario. They decided to keep pushing and working bipartisan relationships with legislators developed over 18 months, leading to the passage of the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

The bill to boost U.S. competitiveness with China is finally law. We’ll also look at Democrats’ effort to bring another vote on insulin price caps, Republican pushback against new IRS funding and Ron Johnson’s politically perilous comments about Social Security and Medicare. 

But first, why is the White House sharing “Dark Brandon” memes

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Biden signs chips and science bill into law

President Biden signed into law on Tuesday bipartisan legislation to provide billions of dollars in incentives to the domestic semiconductor industry and fund scientific research that proponents say will help boost U.S. competitiveness and solve supply chain challenges. 

“We are better positioned than any other nation in the world to win the economic competition of the 21st century. You’re the reason why I’m so optimistic about the future of our country,” Biden said, thanking lawmakers and business leaders at the White House, which included the chief executives of Lockheed Martin, Intel and Micron. 

  • The CHIPS and Science Act, which includes nearly $80 billion in subsidies to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the U.S., passed the Senate and House late last month. 
  • The White House has billed the legislation as a solution to supply chain challenges laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which a global chip shortage caused delays in automobile and electronics production that drove up prices.  
  • Still, they acknowledge that the impacts won’t be felt immediately, and that the bill is more of a long-term solution to chronic problems.  

Morgan Chalfant and Alex Gangitano have more here

Read more: Micron announces $40 billion investment in US chip manufacturing

DRUG COST DEBATE

Schumer: Senate will vote again on $35 insulin cap after GOP blocked it 

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday night that he is going to bring a $35 cap on patients’ insulin costs back up for a vote this fall after Republicans blocked it over the weekend.   

“They blocked a $35 price for insulin for non-Medicare people,” Schumer said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.” “We’re going to come back and make them vote on that again.”  

  • The move can help put pressure on Republicans and highlight what Democrats view as a winning issue ahead of November’s midterm elections.   
  • Just seven Republicans voted with all 50 Democrats to overrule the parliamentarian’s decision that the insulin cap measure violated complicated budget rules, falling three votes short of the 60 needed.  
  • It’s possible more Republicans would support it if it came up as a standalone measure, not in the context of a Senate rules vote.  

Peter Sullivan has more here.

WATCH YOUR STEP

Johnson steps on political land mine with Social Security, Medicare comments   

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), a stalwart Senate ally of former President Trump, is facing fresh uncertainty in his race for reelection after telling a podcast last week that Social Security and Medicare should be classified as discretionary spending, with Congress authorized to set their budgets every year.    

Johnson had been cruising to reelection in a favorable political climate for Republicans, who expected to take control of the House and possibly the Senate as well. But now Johnson is on the defensive as Democrats have political ammo to claim that he wants to cut the two popular entitlement programs, a strategy they used effectively against Republicans in the past. 

The Hill’s Alex Bolton has the rundown here.

‘GOD HELP US’

Graham: ‘God help us’ when IRS gets 87,000 new agents 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday attacked a provision in Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act that would significantly increase the number of agents working for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  

Graham said at a press conference with South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) that hiring 87,000 new IRS agents is “supposed to be for the rich,” but the rich have “a bunch of lawyers and accountants,” and more than half of IRS audits are conducted on people making less than $75,000 per year.  

  • Graham said the new hires will expand the IRS by two and a half times. The IRS employed more than 78,000 people during fiscal 2021, and the legislation would complete additional hires over the next 10 years, investing $80 million to increase enforcement. 

The Hill’s Jared Gans has more on this here.

Good to Know

The Internal Revenue Service must hand over former President Trump’s tax returns to a House committee, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday, dismissing a long-running legal challenge to block tax officials from complying with a request for the records from Democratic lawmakers.  

A three-judge panel for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously sided with the Biden administration and the House Ways and Means Committee, ruling against Trump’s arguments against the committee’s authority, his privacy concerns and his claim that complying with the request would be unconstitutional.  

Here’s what else we have our eye on: 

  • The restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., has reached a $20 million settlement with thousands of its New York City employees over allegations of labor law violations, New York Mayor Eric Adams (D) announced Tuesday. 
  • Nearly two decades after Facebook’s inception and astronomical rise, the Silicon Valley staple is changing course in an effort to preserve its top spot in the digital landscape as it faces new headwinds. 
  • Missouri voters will decide whether to legalize the use of recreational marijuana this November, Missouri Secretary of State John Ashcroft (R) announced on Tuesday.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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