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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 09, @01:36PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the sausagemaking dept.

Senate passes billions for tech in U.S. Innovation and Competition Act

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to pass the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, formerly known as the Endless Frontier Act, Tuesday. The bill approves hundreds of billions of dollars in spending for science and technology at a range of government agencies, as well as $52 billion for chip manufacturing. The heavily debated and amended bill now heads to the House, where it faces an uphill battle against key Democrats who have, up to this point, vocally opposed it.

[...] Senators attached a slew of new provisions to benefit certain sectors of the tech industry, including appropriating $52 billion to boost chip manufacturing in the U.S. Another amendment would add $10 billion for NASA's lunar landing program, a provision Sen. Bernie Sanders called "welfare to Mr. [Jeff] Bezos," who owns the space company Blue Origin.

The semiconductor industry applauded the bill upon its passage. "Senate passage of USICA is a pivotal step toward strengthening U.S. semiconductor production and innovation and an indication of the strong, bipartisan support in Washington for ensuring sustained American leadership in science and technology," John Neuffer, CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said in a statement.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar also managed to squeeze in an antitrust provision that would increase filing fees for large mergers.

The final bill includes a litany of oddball items vaguely linked to China — from a prohibition on the sale of shark fins to an exemption on country of origin labeling for cooked king crab. By the time it passed, the bill stretched more than 2,000 pages long.

The mad rush to stuff the bill full of tangential amendments was as good a sign as any early on that the law could actually pass the Senate. But it faces a bigger challenge in the House, where Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, could block its advancement. Johnson has written publicly about her opposition to the Endless Frontier Act, arguing that it creates a "'shiny new object' that gets the attention of policymakers to the detriment of NSF's fundamental research mission."

Also at CNBC, The Verge, The Guardian, and USA Today.


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  • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Wednesday June 09, @01:47PM (2 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Wednesday June 09, @01:47PM (#1143512)

    If memory serves this started as a $200B bill that got it's guts stripped out and replaced with pork. I suspect this is maybe $50 Billion stuff and $200B pork.

    --
    The 3 symptoms of laziness: 1) think of something tomorrow 2)
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Snotnose on Wednesday June 09, @01:58PM

      by Snotnose (1623) on Wednesday June 09, @01:58PM (#1143515)
      --
      The 3 symptoms of laziness: 1) think of something tomorrow 2)
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by takyon on Wednesday June 09, @02:03PM

      The original Endless Frontier Act would have set aside $100 billion for a new Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation within the National Science Foundation, which would then invest in research on emerging technologies like semiconductors and AI. That proposal faced significant pushback inside the Senate from lawmakers concerned this funding would dramatically reorient the National Science Foundation away from basic scientific research.

      [...] Republican Sen. Todd Young, Schumer's co-author on the Senate bill, initially expressed serious reservations about how the revised bill stripped away funding from the new tech Directorate, initially calling it a "poison pill." But Young came around, and spent much of this week championing the bill in its new form on the Senate floor and on social media. "My #EndlessFrontierAct just passed the @SenateFloor," Young tweeted after the bill's passage. "Let the record show that, at this moment, we stood united in our fight against the Chinese Communist Party."

      Was $100 billion the original price tag which has now become around $250 billion, does the "Directorate for STIs" exist anymore? You decide.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 4, Touché) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday June 09, @02:19PM (5 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 09, @02:19PM (#1143521) Homepage Journal

    Is there anything in there for the working class? Maybe a couple cans of spam?

    --
    "Trust the science" -- Tony Fauci and his army of psycophants
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @02:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @02:27PM (#1143524)

      Well no, but in the future you'll have (Chinese-made) super awesome smart can openers. Will that help?

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Snotnose on Wednesday June 09, @02:49PM

      by Snotnose (1623) on Wednesday June 09, @02:49PM (#1143534)

      Is there anything in there for the working class? Maybe a couple cans of spam?

      The bill.

      --
      The 3 symptoms of laziness: 1) think of something tomorrow 2)
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @04:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @04:26PM (#1143572)

      You don't get enough in your email?

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @07:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @07:47PM (#1143668)

      Is there anything in there for the working class? Maybe a couple cans of spam?

      All-you-can-take Covid vaxxes?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @04:43AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @04:43AM (#1143807)

      I'm afraid the bill is similar to spam egg sausage and spam -- it hasn't got much spam in it.

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @02:28PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @02:28PM (#1143525)

    When did he become fiscally sensible?

    Supporting science development is good, but the snag will be preventing our captains of industry selling out the tech to China in hope of access to "one beellion consumers".

    And the NSF should also be scrutinized since they allowed universities to shut down for 20 months with everyone getting paid. How much real, defensible science did we actually get in that time?

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @02:39PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @02:39PM (#1143529)

      You should be scrutinized for being a Russian bot.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @04:26PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @04:26PM (#1143571)

        All you have is ad-hominems?

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Tork on Wednesday June 09, @06:05PM

          by Tork (3914) on Wednesday June 09, @06:05PM (#1143610)
          Garbage In, Garbage Out.
          --
          Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @07:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @07:52PM (#1144037)

      >And the NSF should also be scrutinized since they allowed universities to shut down for 20 months with everyone getting paid.
      Yeah, crazy that people with tenure should expect to have job security!

      >How much real, defensible science did we actually get in that time?
      Quite a lot, actually

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by crafoo on Wednesday June 09, @02:36PM (8 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Wednesday June 09, @02:36PM (#1143528)

    Handing out money no one has, produced by inflation your average american is no prepared for is the height of irresponsibility. Maybe take a hard, practical look at existing laws and regulatory bodies and really think about their existence. Are they an actual net benefit to the environment, economy, peoples' lives?

    But no. Let's buy votes instead with money we don't have.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @02:48PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @02:48PM (#1143533)

      It's all good until the plebes realize a dollar now only buys 70 cents worth of goods.
      One of the most evil and therefore popular for the govt aspects of inflation is that it makes it "possible" for the government to pay back (snicker!) its debts, so long as they force the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates close to zero. Due to inflation, you take in more (somewhat worthless, but high denomination) tax dollars, so you can easily "pay back" the debt (well, part of it) so you can borrow even more!

      This is how Third World governments operate, and people are stupid to think we can't crash our own economy this way.

      • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Wednesday June 09, @03:18PM (3 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Wednesday June 09, @03:18PM (#1143543)

        That sounds like a Ponzi scheme. They're not legal now, are they?

        (Sorry for the sarcasm / cynicism; inflation is pretty much a given in any even slightly free-market economic system, greed being a thing and all...)

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @05:19PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @05:19PM (#1143597)

          There is low inflation (under 3% a year), and then there is oh shit inflation from Carter's presidency. The first is tolerable, the second, not.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @07:45PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @07:45PM (#1143666)

            It started under Nixon, due to the profligate spending on the lost Vietnam war and the space race.

          • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday June 09, @08:07PM

            by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday June 09, @08:07PM (#1143685) Journal

            then there is oh shit inflation from Carter's presidency...

            Guess you weren't around in '73 [youtube.com]

            --
            Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @03:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @03:14PM (#1143541)

      It's not a big problem for the US people IF they get a decent share of the created US dollars. That's a big IF there though.

      Because with the Petro Dollar as long as the rest of the world is using/holding trillions of US dollars they are living in the USA's "Zimbabwe".

      When the US Gov ("US Mugabe") creates dollars, the US people who have net positive amounts of USD get poorer BUT the rest of the world also becomes poorer (that's including China who is owed trillions in USD, and is paid by the world in USD and holds lots of USD to buy oil, soybeans and zillions of other stuff that's priced in USD).

      But if the US people get a lot more of the created dollars than the rest of the world then the US people actually become richer relatively to the rest of the world.

      So if you're a US citizen and you're getting some of that pork then it's working out for you.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday June 09, @03:17PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday June 09, @03:17PM (#1143542) Journal

      Well there is expected to be significant Democratic pushback to this bill in the House so we'll see how it plays out.

      Personally I'm generally in favor of funding basic research that isn't profitable (yet) to the private sector. But some of the line items that got added to the Senate version are definitely concerning. Bans on shark fins but exemptions to labeling requirements for king crab? Yeah....hopefully the House strips that nonsense out.

      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday June 09, @08:01PM

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday June 09, @08:01PM (#1143677) Journal

        hopefully the House strips that nonsense out.

        Do you know who put it in? Let's hear some names, and see if they sound familiar or not.

        --
        Ok, we paid the ransom. Do I get my dog back? REDЯUM
  • (Score: 2) by Username on Wednesday June 09, @09:50PM (6 children)

    by Username (4557) on Wednesday June 09, @09:50PM (#1143721)

    Everything made in the US uses chi-nah components. If china ever wanted to ruin the united states, they would just stop selling us resistors. Far is I know, noone makes resistors inside the US anymore. The current price is about 0.00006 usd per resistor. Without chi-nah that decimal would move a few spots over. Aerospace manufacturers have to stockpile entire lots of every part they use, since that was the approved component, and to replace it with any other component, you will need to redo everything. requality everything, test it for years etc. The MELFs we have are inventory from the 1990s. No joke. Unwind them from the reel and the tape disintegrates. If the prices of resistors skyrocketed from lack of supply companies would have to stockpile $0.05 resistors. Military contractors would be going out of business left and right. They'd be eating red.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @10:18PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @10:18PM (#1143727)

      The world worked just fine before we sent everything to China, and it can work fine again if we decouple. Do you think there isn't some other poor country we can build up by sending them all our manufacturing? :-|

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @10:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, @10:28PM (#1143729)

      As the Cold War II heats up, there will be more incentives and tariffs to drive that manufacturing elsewhere.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by BeaverCleaver on Thursday June 10, @11:22AM

      by BeaverCleaver (5841) on Thursday June 10, @11:22AM (#1143846)

      Just because resistors aren't made un the USA doesn't mean they're all made in China. Vishay makes a bunch in the Czech Republic, for example. Czechia is part of NATO.

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