US Senate Passes $280 Billion CHIPS Act for Domestic Semiconductors
By Andrew Thornebrooke
The U.S. Senate passed its controversial chips and science legislation on July 27. The measure will now go to the House and, should it pass there, to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
The mammoth legislation, which passed 64–33, will provide $280 billion in funding to prop up and kickstart domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research, although the price tag was far above previous legislation that aimed to provide just $52 billion to manufacturers.
Officially dubbed the CHIPS Act of 2022, the measure would provide tens of billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks to tech corporations in an effort to spur new market growth, as well as funding for government-backed tech research.
Proponents of the legislation have long said that it’s necessary in order to maintain a competitive edge with China, which is pouring money into its own domestic chip production.
At the last minute, however, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stripped a provision that would have blocked manufacturers from using tech developed with the monies from outsourcing production to China.
This means that, because of Schumer’s alteration, tech companies will be able to domestically research and create new semiconductor technologies using taxpayer monies, then outsource the manufacturing of those semiconductors to China.