The US House of Representatives passed sweeping legislation to subsidize the domestic semiconductor industry, competing with Chinese and other foreign manufacturers.
The bill was a triumph for President Joe Biden and the Democrats, eager to keep their slender majority in Congress in the November Midterm elections.
The ending vote was 243 to 187, with only one Democrat—Representative Sara Jacobs—voting present. 24 Republicans joined 218 Democrats in backing the measure. The passage in Congress sends the bill to the White House, where President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law as rapidly as early next week.
After over a year of effort, the US Senate passed the “Chips and Science” act with bipartisan support on July 28, 2022. A rare major foray into US industrial policy, the bill provides about $52 billion in government subsidies for US production of semiconductors used in everything from automobiles and electronic devices to high-tech weaponry and video games. It also includes an investment tax credit for chip plants estimated to be worth $24 billion.
The bill would also authorize $200 billion over ten years to boost scientific research in the US to better compete with China. The US Congress still needs to pass separate appropriations legislation to fund those investments.