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Senate could move on a slimmer, chip-focused China competitiveness bill in the coming week

Senate could move on a slimmer, chip-focused China competitiveness bill

July 18, 2022: -The U.S. Senate could begin work on a pared-down China competitiveness bill by the coming week to pass it through Congress before lawmakers depart Washington in August, NBC News reported on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is telling senators that a floor vote could come on Tuesday to kick off the legislation-writing process on a bill that consists of billions in funding for semiconductor manufacturing told NBC.

According to NBC, it would include an investment tax credit from one more bipartisan chip-manufacturing bill, and additional components could be included as the process continues.

The plan was after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Threatened to block a broader bill to improve China’s competitiveness, the United States Innovation and Competition Act, or USA.

The House and Senate have passed different versions of the bill, with the upper chamber’s version garnering bipartisan support. The Senate bill, which passed 68-32 in the previous year, would total roughly $250 billion, including $52 billion to fund semiconductor research, design, and manufacturing initiatives.

In the previous month, McConnell said the competitiveness bill would lose Republican support if Democrats continued to pursue an unrelated reconciliation package to fund their climate, tax, and prescription drug goals, reportedly being negotiated by Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V.

If it meets the Senate’s strict budget reconciliation rules, that spending package could pass the chamber with just a bare majority instead of the 60 votes required for most other bills to surpass the filibuster.

“Let me be clear: there will be no bipartisan USICA as long as Democrats are pursuing a partisan reconciliation bill,” McConnell tweeted on June 30.

Senators and Biden administration officials hope to send the chip-funding legislation to the White House for President Joe Biden’s signature before Congress goes on its annual recess in early August.

“We want them to negotiate and get a bill done by August 4,” On Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told reporters. In an interview with Axios published that a similar day, Raimondo said, “There’s a real-time urgency there as these chip companies are making their decisions right now about where to expand.”

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