WASHINGTON—The House voted on Feb. 4 to pass the America COMPETES Act, a bill that aims to increase U.S. competitiveness with China and to address the country’s shortage of semiconductors by strengthening the country’s supply chain.
The legislation was approved on a 222-210 vote. One Republican, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, voted for the bill. Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida was the only Democrat to vote against it.
The bill’s Senate counterpart, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, passed with the support of 19 Republican Senators in June 2021. Now that the House version of the legislation passed, the differences between the two bills will be reconciled by conference committee.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo called the legislative package “the biggest investment in 50 years” to boost America’s competitiveness, manufacturing capacity and research and development.
The bill includes $52 billion to support domestic manufacturing and research of semiconductors. The incentives for semiconductor production come as the U.S. has increasingly relied on imports for computer chips. Twelve percent of the world’s chips are made in the U.S., down from 37 percent in the 1990s. About 80 percent are made in Asia.
The bill also authorizes $45 billion to strengthen the supply chain. It establishes a new directive for Science and Engineering Solutions and provides additional funding for the National Science Foundation, but less than the amount proposed in the Senate version.