The Senate passed the America COMPETES Act of 2022 with a vote of 68 to 28. The bill aims to address America’s competitiveness with China and includes $52 billion to bring semiconductors and chip manufacturing to the United States.
“I think there’s lots of solutions that we can put before our manufacturers here to help them with their competitiveness on a worldwide basis,” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said. “That is what the tech director does, the manufacturing USA institutes, the technology hubs, and the technology centers–are all parts of this legislation that would help us move technology out into the world in a faster pace, and work collaboratively to solve these problems that, again, would bring the manufacturing and the supply chain back into the United States of America.”
The version of the bill that passed the Senate is different from the version the House passed in February. The Senate replaced the text of the House’s America COMPETES Act with text of its own bill, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act.
Unlike the Senate version, which focuses on developing new technologies, the House version included other issues, like protecting workers’ rights to unionize and climate-focused legislation.
“The vast majority of the provisions in the COMPETES Act do not do anything to fix these problems and spends [sic] billions we don’t have on Green New Deal policies, like the UN Green Climate Fund, and wild handouts to universities partnering with Communist China and tech companies making record profits,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said. “If Congress would only take up legislation to actually put Americans first and protect families and businesses by eliminating America’s dependence on Communist China and holding it accountable for its crimes, I’ll be the first to vote yes. That’s not what this bill does.”
The House is expected to reject the substituted legislation and request a Senate and House conference to reconcile the differences, according to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Bloomberg reported the two chambers likely won’t come to an agreement until May.