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House passes bill to subsidize U.S.-made semiconductor chips in win for Biden

The $280 billion Chips and Science Act would subsidize domestic semiconductor manufacturing and invest billions in science and technology innovation. The House passed the legislation on a 243-187 vote, with strong bipartisan support. President Biden hailed the outcome after securing bipartisan support last year for a major infrastructure bill and recently for a measure to reduce gun violence. The Senate had passed the bill Wednesday in a 64-33 vote, and 24 Republicans defied the leadership and joined Democrats in backing the measure. Some members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were also squeamish on the bill, and there was fear that its passage in the House could be threatened if supporting lawmakers dwindled. Others, however, said they would toe the party line.

Raimondo spent the past 24 hours working the phones to ensure significant GOP support was not lost after Senate Republicans tried to derail its passage. She promised to instead invest in American jobs and minority-owned businesses. About $52 billion will go to microchip manufacturers to incentivize construction of domestic semiconductor fabrication plants. The bill also includes about $100 billion in authorizations over five years for programs such as expanding the National Science Foundation’s work and establishing regional technology hubs to support start-ups in areas of the country that haven’t traditionally drawn big funding for tech. A shortage of semiconductor chips during the coronavirus pandemic has caused price hikes and supply-chain disruptions.