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Despite Leadership Opposition, 24 Republicans Help Send CHIPS Package To Biden’s Desk

The House of Representatives passed the $280 billion semiconductor chip and scientific research and development package on Thursday afternoon, sending the legislation to President Joe Biden’s desk.

Despite opposition from GOP leadership, 24 Republicans joined 219 Democrats in supporting the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. All 187 “no” votes on the legislation came from Republicans, while Democratic California Rep. Sara Jacobs, whose family founded chip-maker Qualcomm, voted present.

The bill’s companion legislation passed the Senate on Wednesday afternoon, with seventeen Republican votes in support. Republican leader Mitch McConnell had threatened to filibuster the funding following reports that Senate Democrats had renewed negotiations on an infrastructure package, but ultimately voted in favor of the bill. Later Wednesday evening, Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced that he would support a reconciliation package, leading House Republicans to oppose the subsidy package.

“This legislation comes to the House precisely as Senate Democrats have allegedly struck a deal on their partisan reconciliation bill, pairing up a tone-deaf agenda that on one hand gives billions away in corporate handouts, and on the other hand undoes historic tax cuts implemented by Republicans,” Minority Whip Steve Scalise wrote in a memo urging Republicans to vote against the package.

The CHIPS and Science Act includes $52 billion in subsidies for domestic semiconductor manufacturers, and $200 billion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research. The $200 billion includes grants to the National Science Foundation, as well as cash for schools to increase their STEM curriculum offerings.

“This final product is a result of months of bipartisan negotiations. It is also the result of dedicated efforts and long hours put in by the committee’s staff,” Democratic Texas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, the bill’s lead sponsor, said in a floor speech. The provisions “that form this package are vital to ensuring a bold and prosperous future for American science and innovation, maintaining our international competitiveness, and bolstering our economic and national security.”

AUTHOR

MICHAEL GINSBERG

Congressional reporter.

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