With a 68-32 vote, the Senate on Tuesday passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, meant to bolster America’s technological and economic competition with China. The legislation – totaling roughly $250 billion – was a major priority for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and was co-authored by Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.). The bill now moves to the House, which is working on its own legislation to boost U.S. global competition.
“[Tuesday’s] Senate passage of the bipartisan U.S. Innovation and Competition Act moves forward historic legislation to invest in science, technology, and U.S. manufacturing that will shore up critical industries like semiconductors, artificial intelligence, advanced communications like 5G, quantum computing, biotechnology, and advanced energy,” Leader Schumer said in a statement.
Senator Young stressed the legislation’s strong bipartisanship, saying “I’m proud the Senate voted to advance this bill to outcompete China and invest in the U.S. Let history record show that, at this moment, we stood united.”
President Joe Biden applauded the bill: “As other countries continue to invest in their own research and development, we cannot risk falling behind.”
The legislation would specifically provide $52 billion to fund semiconductor research, design and manufacturing initiatives. The bill would also overhaul the National Science Foundation (NSF), appropriate tens of billions to the NSF over the next several years and establish a Directorate for Technology and Innovation.