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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) yesterday filled a 1,054-page bipartisan amendment to the CHIPS bill after a 64-34 vote in the Senate.

  • Passing the 60-vote threshold was a significant win for Schumer and gave him broader scope to advance a more wide-ranging package. Notably, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was one of the ‘noes,’ unable to convince his caucus to oppose the bill in retaliation for Democrat moving on a partisan reconciliation bill.
  • The revised bill is smaller than the USICA bill which passed the Senate last year, admittedly during a period of less economic gloom, but larger than the bare-bones USD$52 billion CHIPS bill being floated last week.
  • Senator Todd Young (R-IN), one of the GOP champions of the bill said the overall price of the package is likely to be close to USD$250 billion.
  • On twitter Young said: “Tonight’s procedural vote is an important first step toward the Senate passing a robust “CHIPS Plus” package. The strong bipartisan vote shows there is broad support for including the USICA provisions critical to our national security and ability to outcompete China.
  • In the proposed package is USD$39 billion for domestic semiconductor facilities, USD$11 billion for advanced research and development programmes, USD$80 billion for the National Science Foundation, and USD$2 billion for national defence tech.
  • Despite heavy lobbying from tech firms to ease China constraints, the legislation includes a provision banning the use of funds on facilities in China or “any other foreign country of concern.”
  • The next steps: Schumer is likely to file cloture today or tomorrow to set up a final vote of the package early next week.
  • Punchbowl News: “Democratic leaders and their GOP supporters will try to speed up that timeline, […] hoping they can get it done this week. They would need consent from all Republicans, including opponents of the measure. We’ll get a better idea on how this will play out today.”
  • Then, of course, the House will need to pass the bill too which is no sure thing with such a razor thin majority in the lower chamber.

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