The legislation also includes $52 billion in funding to jump-start the production of semiconductors and reduce American reliance on chips made in other countries. The Kia car plant in West Point shut down twice last year because of the chip shortage. Both Warnock and his counterpart, U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, pushed for similar language to be included in the Senate version of the bill that passed in June.
The House package unveiled last week also includes components of a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux that would create a new office at the U.S. Department of Commerce to monitor and address supply-chain snags.
“COVID-19 showed us all how critical resilient supply chains are for consumers and businesses,” Bourdeaux, a Democrat from Suwanee, said in a recent statement. “All across my district, small business owners and manufacturers have told me about the challenges they face in accessing materials critical to their business.”
The House is expected to pass its version of the China competition bill this week, and then leaders from both chambers would meet to iron out a final compromise that could pass both chambers in the coming months and be sent to Biden to be signed into law. The Senate bill includes about $200 billion more in funding for scientific research and technology than the House package.