- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2022

President Biden is expected on Tuesday to sign into law the $280 billion technology spending bill aimed at boosting domestic semiconductor manufacturing and spurring scientific research, the White House has announced.

The House gave final passage to the bill in a 243-187 vote on Thursday after the Senate passed the measure 64-33 in a key legislative win for the administration.

Mr. Biden will deliver remarks on the bill during the signing ceremony, which is set to be held in the Rose Garden.

In remarks alongside Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday, Mr. Biden lauded the bill, which includes a $52 billion payout for semiconductor manufacturers, as proof that his administration can get key legislation across the finish line.

“The progress we’re making is proof that we’re the United States of America,” Mr. Biden said as he joined Ms. Whitmer for her signing of an executive directive that will implement the legislation in her state. “There’s nothing beyond our capacity when we work together.”

“This bill makes it clear that the world’s leading innovation will happen in America,” Mr. Biden said in his virtual remarks. “We will both invent in America and make it in America.”

Congressional passage of the bill marked a modest legislative win for the White House and Democrats hungry for a legislative victory ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections.

The bill’s passage capped months of tense negotiations on the long-stalled $52 billion incentive for chip manufacturers.

The White House had been in a full-court press for weeks to get the measure passed, urging lawmakers to shed a bevy of tough-on-China measures to get the broadly supported semiconductor funding to his desk before industry heavyweights take their money elsewhere.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who led classified briefings last month on Capitol Hill to compel lawmakers to move the stalled chip funding across the finish line, warns the U.S. is running out of time to woo chip manufacturers as other countries begin to roll out similar incentives.

Proponents of the bill, which includes more than $50 billion in the next five years for chip manufacturing and a 25% tax credit through 2026 for new chip production, say it would reduce America’s dependence on China and resolve a major supply chain issue that has contributed to high inflation.

Without a steady flow of semiconductors, which are used to manufacture a variety of goods, such as smartphones, washing machines and advanced weapons, proponents warn that the U.S. will be severely hobbled in maintaining economic stability.

Opponents, including some Republicans and self-described Democratic socialist Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, labeled as “corporate welfare” the bill’s $52 billion of funding for the chip manufacturing industry.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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