WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Lawmakers are on the cusp of passing major legislation designed to boost U.S. competition against China and bring consumer prices down.
Business leaders have big hopes the $52 billion plan will pass the U.S. Senate Tuesday after the vote was delayed Monday due to severe weather conditions.
The CHIPS Act invests big in creating semiconductor computer chips found in everything from cars to cellphones to military equipment.
After months of negotiations, the U.S. Senate is poised to pass the bipartisan bill designed to bolster U.S. manufacturing, bring down consumer costs and strengthen U.S. competition against China.
On Monday, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the core of the bill is a multibillion-dollar investment to produce U.S.-made semiconductor chips.
Currently, China dominates the global supply.
“Sadly, we are lagging behind,” Schumer said. “One of the most important fights of this century will be the fight for semiconductor supply.”
While there is bipartisan buy-in, a handful of Republicans have criticized the bill as a corporate handout.
The White House insists there are no handouts and companies must follow strict guidelines to receive and keep federal funds.
During a virtual roundtable with business and union leaders, President Joe Biden urged Congress to pass the bill as quickly as possible.
Jim Taiclet, CEO of Lockheed Martin, which builds military aircraft, told Biden the technology is too important to national security to outsource to China.
“We have got to have confidence in the security, the hardware itself that it has not been tampered with or degraded,” Taiclet.