Schumer Aims for Vote to Boost U.S. Chip Industry This Month

The Senate will act this month on legislation to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing and U.S. competitiveness with China, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

Schumer said that he intends to get a vote on a package of legislation, named the American Competitiveness Act, in the coming weeks. It includes key components of President Joe Biden’s agenda that have some bipartisan support.

Action to increase U.S. chip production has support among both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and from Biden amid a global shortage of semiconductors that are vital to products from telephones to cars and trucks. The U.S. still leads the world in chip design, but manufacturing has largely been ceded to foreign firms.

Biden, who met with more than a dozen chief executives from companies affected, included $50 billion for semiconductor manufacturing and research in his $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan. Many lawmakers want that funding as part of a standalone package aimed at countering China’s growing economic clout that may have a quicker path through Congress.

The legislation will include Schumer’s bill with Indiana Republican Senator Todd Young that would overhaul the National Science Foundation and allocate $100 billion over five years to strengthen research and development in tech, computing, artificial intelligence, manufacturing and other areas. A version of the legislation introduced last year would also allocate an additional $10 billion to establish regional research hubs.

The Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday on the Schumer-Young proposal, the Endless Frontier Act.

Young said it may take “a couple of weeks” to draw up the text of the legislation. After getting input from the White House, Young said his staff and Schumer’s have been working “to improve the bill, and reach common understanding on a number of different issues, and we’re getting closer.”

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