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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 09, @01:36PM   Printer-friendly
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 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.

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  • (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.