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The Next Steps For Semiconductor Bill CHIPS-Plus


The Democrats' package to invigorate the domestic semiconductor industry and legislate measures to compete with China in science and tech is nearing completion after nearly one year in Congress.

  • The White House remains concerned that the bill, which they consider vital for national security, could still fall at the last hurdle. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado yesterday that the US cannot continue to rely on Taiwan for semiconductors and Congress must pass CHIPS-Plus as a matter of national security.
    • Raimondo: “Our dependence on Taiwan for chips is untenable and unsafe.”
  • According to Punchbowl News, the likely timeline for CHIPS-Plus is: “The Senate comes in on Monday and has to vote to end debate on the CHIPS-Plus bill. That package will probably move to final passage on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending how cooperative opponents to the USD$280 billion package are feeling.”
  • Axios highlights the final obstacle: "The Senate's latest version still needs sign-off from the House, which had deep reservations about accepting the original USICA."
    • The first iteration of the bill scraped through the House in 222 - 210 vote, whereas the Senate version passed with a strongly bipartisan 68 - 28, meaning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has very little space for dissenting votes.
  • Axios: "It's unclear if the House will buy the clever USICA rebrand and vote for it just because Washington now calls it "CHIPS-plus.""
  • The irony of CHIPS is that the failure of Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to agree to a broad reconciliation package has provided Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) leeway to quietly drop a blockade on the bill.

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