Jul 26, 2022 - Technology

Chip funding bill clears key Senate hurdle

Illustration collage of a computer chip set amongst graphic shapes and close-up crops of a one dollar bill
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Senate voted 64-32 Tuesday to advance a roughly $280 billion package to boost funding for domestic chip production, a priority for the Biden administration and companies like Intel and IBM.

Why it matters: The bill is meant to entice companies to expand chip manufacturing in the U.S., reducing the risk of the supply chain disruptions that hampered production of everything from cars to appliances and helping the U.S. compete overseas, particularly with China.

Driving the news: The Senate voted to limit debate on a slimmed-down version of the massive bill. That vote, overcoming a 60-vote requirement, was the biggest hurdle to its passage before a final vote later this week.

Here are its central items:

  • $52.7 billion for chip manufacturing, research and production, including $2 billion for legacy chip production — those essential to the auto industry and the military.
  • 25% tax credit for investments in semiconductor manufacturing, worth about $24 billion.
  • $1.5 billion for the development of open-architecture, software-based wireless technologies, known as ORAN, that's meant to reduce reliance on foreign telecommunications equipment.
  • $11 billion for the Department of Commerce to create 20 "regional technology hubs" focused on technology development and manufacturing.
  • $200 billion authorized for scientific research.

Between the lines: This version of the bill is similar to what the Senate passed last year, and lacks many of the provisions the House included in its version.

What's next: After a final vote in the Senate, the bill will head to the House, which faces a short timeline for a vote before the August recess begins next week.

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