Schumer prepares vote on reduced computer chip bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is telling senators to expect a first vote as early as Tuesday on scaled-down legislation that would provide grants, tax credits and other financial incentives to companies that build semiconductor fabs in the United States.

Both the House and Senate passed far-reaching bills that included numerous trade provisions, additional funds for research, and called for the development of regional technology hubs across the country. But lawmakers…

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is telling senators to expect a first vote as early as Tuesday on scaled-down legislation that would provide grants, tax credits and other financial incentives to companies that build semiconductor fabs in the United States.

Both the House and Senate passed far-reaching bills that included numerous trade provisions, additional funds for research, and called for the development of regional technology hubs across the country. But lawmakers have struggled to reach a final compromise that could generate 60 votes in the Senate, the number needed to overcome procedural hurdles.

Failing a broader agreement, Schumer, D.N.Y., will pass a “limited competition bill” that includes the $52 billion in financial and research incentives that were at the heart of bills passed in the House and the Senate. It would also include a semiconductor investment tax credit, and additional items could be added if ready.

Schumer’s plans were described by a person familiar with private deliberations who was granted anonymity to discuss them.

The Biden administration has stepped up its advocacy for the semiconductor bill in recent days, calling it essential that lawmakers act before the August recess.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and other administration officials met with senators behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss the national security ramifications of reliance on overseas production of computer chips.

“At the end of the day, there are very real and very devastating consequences if Congress doesn’t do its job in the month of July,” Raimondo said.

These consequences mean not only lost job opportunities for the United States, but an overreliance on other countries for semiconductors that are crucial for products ranging from cars and cell phones to computer systems. modern weapons. Under the bill, federal government funding would be used to subsidize part of the cost of building or renovating semiconductor factories in the United States.

Raimondo says computer chipmakers are already being offered lucrative incentives from other countries like South Korea, Japan, France, Germany and Singapore to set up factories there. She cited Monday’s announcement by STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries to build a semiconductor factory in France as an example of other countries moving faster than the United States on the issue.

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