By David Sheparson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer has scheduled a classified briefing for all senators on the global innovation and technology race and a proposed bill to boost U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, his office said. Thursday.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell threatened last week to try to block the bill that would provide $52 billion to subsidize US semiconductor manufacturing and boost US competitiveness with China if Democrats are moving forward with a social spending and climate bill.
The briefing scheduled for Wednesday by the Biden administration will focus “on the global innovation and technology race and the bipartisan innovation bill that is vital to the long-term national security of the United States.”
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that the Biden administration wants Congress to act quickly, noting that Intel Corp announced that it will invest $20 billion to open semiconductor factories in Ohio “and that it could expand up to $100 billion” if Congress approves the chip subsidies. .
The Senate legislation, passed in June 2021, included $52 billion for chip subsidies and authorized another $200 billion to boost US science and technology innovation to compete with China.
The House version, passed in February, is similar but is nearly 3,000 pages long and includes several trade proposals not in the Senate bill. Many House provisions are expected to be eliminated.
Some fear that Congress may not be able to reach an agreement before the legislative elections in November if it does not reach an agreement in the coming weeks.
A persistent shortage of chips has disrupted the auto and electronics industries, forcing some companies to cut production. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who has been making calls in recent days to try to move the bill forward, and many businesses believe the shortage will last through at least the end of 2023, if not longer.
Lawmakers warn that some major investments in new chip production in the US could be jeopardized without congressional action.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Sandra Maler and Kim Coghill)