Congressional Democrats ‘optimize’ chip deal that could come soon

The United States Capitol building is pictured in Washington, U.S., January 26, 2022. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

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WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) – U.S. Democrats said on Tuesday they hoped to strike a $52 billion bipartisan deal to subsidize U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and boost U.S. competitiveness with Chinese technology.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, both Democrats, met with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to try to find a compromise but did not not announced agree.

Pelosi and Schumer issued a statement calling for swift action and said they believed there was no reason the bill could not pass Congress in July.

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“Democrats have already made accommodations in the name of reaching a deal, which we are optimistic can happen soon,” they said.

McCarthy and McConnell did not immediately comment.

A continuing shortage of chips has disrupted the automotive and electronics industries, forcing some companies to cut production.

Both houses have passed similar bills, but key differences need to be resolved.

Senate legislation, passed in June 2021, provided $52 billion for chip subsidies and authorized an additional $200 billion to spur U.S. science and technology innovation to compete with China.

The House version, passed in February, is nearly 3,000 pages long and includes a number of trade proposals not included in the Senate bill. Some House provisions will likely be deleted due to lack of Senate approval, officials say.

Democrats have warned that major investments in new US chip production could be jeopardized without congressional action. Democratic Senator Mark Warner told Reuters last week that “time is running out”.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said in a joint opinion piece for the Indianapolis Business Journal that governors from both parties “overwhelmingly agree that the action federal government is essential not only to address the shortage of semiconductors that we all face, but also to realign national research and economic development priorities and outpace our adversaries. »

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Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Howard Goller and Richard Pullin

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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