Senate passes major chip funding bill
Why it matters: The bill aims to reverse a long-term decline in domestic manufacturing of the computer chips that go into cars, computers, appliances and a range of other everyday items, after the pandemic exposed the fragility of the international supply chain.
Driving the news: The bill, which has gone through many names (most recently the Chips and Science bill), includes $52 billion in funding for domestic production of semiconductors.
- Intel and other chipmakers have aggressively lobbied for the subsidy, arguing the U.S. government needs to incentivize chip production on American soil to catch up to other countries.
- The legislation also authorizes (but does not fund) about $200 billion for scientific research, including $81 billion for the National Science Foundation for a technology directorate aimed at translating basic research into commercial products made in the U.S.
Between the lines: The funding won wide bipartisan support, but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) opposed the legislation as a "blank check" for the profitable microchip industry without guardrails.
What's next: The bill heads to the House, which previously passed a broader version of the legislation.