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Senate Advances COMPETES Act, Sending it to Conference

March 29, 2022 by Dan McCue
Senate Advances COMPETES Act, Sending it to Conference
SUVs outside the Senate side of the Capitol on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON —The Senate voted 68-28 on Monday to advance legislation that would invest in both scientific research and in increasing domestic manufacturing of critical microchips.

The Senate passed its version of the bill, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, in June 2021. 

The current version of the bill, renamed the America COMPETES Act, will now head to conference to reconcile differences in the House and Senate versions, and the final product will then be sent to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

In a statement released Monday night, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, said “the Senate took another step forward today in delivering on the president’s vision to strengthen our supply chains, make more in America and outcompete China and the rest of the world for decades to come.

“Today’s vote demonstrates there is clear bipartisan support for the sorts of investments the president has long championed — like boosting domestic manufacturing, supporting our innovators and helping them take their ideas from the lab to the factory floor, as well as addressing supply chain bottlenecks like semiconductors that are raising prices on the middle class,” Psaki said. 

“The events of the last two years, including the pandemic and Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, have underscored just how important it is to our economic and national security to make more of these critical components here in America,” she said.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., chairman of the Senate Intel Committee, also cheered the bill’s passage, calling it long past due.

“This competitiveness bill makes major investments in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, creates good-paying jobs, and provides the tools our country needs to continue competing in the global economy,” Warner said. “I am glad the Senate has voted to pass the amended version of this legislation, and I am hopeful that the Senate and House will conference quickly so that we can finally send this legislation to the president’s desk.”

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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