Senior Biden Officials to Brief Senators on Semiconductor Chips

By David Sheparson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three top Biden administration officials will brief senators on Wednesday about the global race for innovation and technology and a proposed bill to boost U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, two officials told Reuters.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks will hold the classified briefing for all senators on Wednesday at 4 p.m. billion for subsidies to chip production and boost US scientific and technological innovation to compete with China.

Raimondo told ABC News on Sunday that the chip financing bill “has to pass now. Not six months from now, (but) now. It’s bipartisan.” She said the chip bill would help “lower chip prices, which will lower the price of almost everything you buy, because everything includes chips.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell recently threatened to try to block the bill if Democrats move forward with a climate and social spending bill.

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. Many companies believe that the shortage will last until 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 in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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