Senators are moving forward this week on a scaled-back package to boost domestic computer chip production. They just don’t know what’s in the bill yet.
The Senate on Tuesday took the first step to advance what lawmakers are calling “CHIPS-plus” to try to combat the global chip shortage that has affected everything from auto manufacturers to the video game industry. The package is a slimmed-down version of a much broader China competitiveness bill that House and Senate negotiators had struggled for months to reach a deal on.
Fearful that impatient chip manufacturers would build their semiconductor fabrication plants elsewhere if they didn’t act soon, top Democrats made the call to switch tactics: Congress would take up a more narrowly focused bill including $52 billion in subsidies to chip manufacturers, then deal with the larger China competition package later.
CHIPS-plus on Tuesday evening cleared its first procedural hurdle in a 64-34 vote, needing just 51 votes to advance. And key senators said they could pass the bill and send it to the House as early as this week. But they still haven’t agreed on what will be added into it and what will be shelved.
Read more at NBC News.