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Senate passes bill to boost US tech industry, counter rivals

test tubes in bright modern labaratory
Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 20:14:31-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has overwhelmingly approved legislation that will invest more than $200 billion in technology, science, and research.

The bill is a bid to protect economic and national security in the face of growing international competition, most notably from China. Lawmakers have approved the bill by a vote of 68-32, nineteen Republicans joined Democrats to pass the bill.

The centerpiece of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act is a $50 billion emergency allotment to the Commerce Department to stand up semiconductor development and manufacturing through research and incentive programs previously authorized by Congress.

Support for the bill demonstrates how confronting China economically is a mission that unites both parties in a divided Congress.

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives before going to Biden's desk for his signature. It's not clear when the House will vote on the measure.