Senate passes bill to boost semiconductor chip manufacturing

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Senate passes bill to boost semiconductor chip manufacturing

President Joe Biden, who’s holding up a semiconductor chip in this February 24, 2021, photo, praised the Senate vote. File Photo by Doug Mills/UPI | License Photo

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill incentivizing domestic production of semiconductor chips, sending the legislation to the House, where it’s expected to have the votes needed for approval.

The CHIPS and Science Act had wide bipartisan support with a 64-33 vote. All those opposed were Republicans except for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

President Joe Biden, who promoted the legislation earlier this week, praised Wednesday’s vote as “really good news.”

The investment now in building more factories to make these chips is going to bring down the price of everything from automobiles to everything across the board. But more importantly it’s going to create thousands of good-paying jobs,” he said.

The bill provides $52 billion in federal grants for semiconductor manufacturing and research as leaders look to ease a chip shortage and prevent future shortages for both commercial and national defense use.

It also includes about $100 billion in authorizations over the course of five years for programs that includes expanding the National Science Foundation’s efforts to establish regional technology hubs to support start-up companies in areas of the country that haven’t historically received much tech funding.

Supporters say the bill would reduce American reliance on China and other foreign powers to provide the vital semiconductors which are present in virtually all electronics.

Sanders, who voted against the bill, said it would give the “highly profitable” microchip industry a $76 billion blank check.

“So, apparently, when corporate America needs a blank check of $76 billion, we do what other countries are doing. When other countries protect the needs of their workers, their children, their elderly somehow that is not a club we join,” he tweeted.

Simon Druker contributed to this report.

This week in Washington

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Senate passes bill to boost semiconductor chip manufacturing

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (C), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, and Kansas congressional members unveil a statue of Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

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