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Republicans warm to $52B computer chip bill, adding momentum

John Cornyn
Posted at 6:05 PM, Jul 18, 2022

Key Republicans are warming up to passing a bill that provides roughly $52 billion in incentives for the semiconductor industry.

Three weeks ago, the computer chips bill looked like it could be in trouble despite having significant bipartisan support. That's when Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said there would be no bill as long as Democrats pursued a "partisan reconciliation" package.

But circumstances have changed. GOP Senator John Cornyn says that removing proposed tax hikes in the reconciliation bill has opened the door to Republican cooperation on semiconductors. The Biden administration warns computer chip makers may expand overseas instead of the U.S. unless the bill passes.

“I hope we will be able to take action on that in the coming days,” Cornyn said.

The Biden administration wants Congress to move quickly on the semiconductor legislation before they leave for a month-long recess in August. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said chipmakers are making decisions now on where they need to locate plants to satisfy global demand. Foreign competitors are courting companies with financial aid, the Associated Press reported.