- The Senate passed a bill Tuesday authorizing $250 billion in spending for US technology and science research.
- The bill is geared towards helping the US compete against China, and build more semiconductor chips.
- President Biden praised the bill, which now has to pass the House of Representatives.
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Democrat and Republican senators signed off on a bill on Tuesday that would pump about $250 billion into US technology and science research.
The bill, called the US Innovation and Competition Act, was introduced by Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer and Republican Sen. Todd Young. It passed with 68 votes to 32, but still has to pass the House.
The bill includes $52 billion to encourage US manufacturing of semiconductor chips – an effort to address the current global shortage that has hit supply chains in numerous industries.
The bill is geared towards supercharging America’s research sector so it can compete with China.
“I have watched China take advantage of us in ways legal and illegal over the years,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who pushed for the bill, told The Washington Post ahead of it passing.
“The number one thing China was doing to take advantage of us … was investing heavily in research and science. And if we didn’t do something about it, they would become the number one economy in the world,” he added.
President Joe Biden praised the Senate for passing the bill in a statement on Tuesday. “We are in a competition to win the 21st century, and the starting gun has gone off. As other countries continue to invest in their own research and development, we cannot risk falling behind,” he said.
“I look forward to working with the House of Representatives on this important bipartisan legislation, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as possible,” Biden added.