The Senate is on track to move to final passage as soon as next week on a long-awaited bill aimed at boosting US semiconductor production in a bid to increase American competitiveness.
The legislation is aimed at addressing a semiconductor chip shortage and making the US less reliant on other countries such as China for manufacturing. Senators supportive of the bill say the measure is important not only for US technological innovation, but for national security as well.
The bill sets up incentives for domestic semiconductor manufacturing as well as research and development and includes more than $50 billion in funding.
A vote to break a filibuster is expected in the Senate early next week with a final passage vote to follow. The bill would then need to be passed by the House before it could be signed into law by President Joe Biden.
Senate Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota told reporters that the chips legislation would get a final vote “probably Wednesday” of next week.
Republican Sen. Todd Young of Indiana indicated procedural votes next week, followed by a “final vote midweek.”
A vote to break a filibuster is pushed until next week due to a large number of absences in the Senate, according to GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, one of the principal authors of the bill.
Backers had hoped to reach an agreement to have that vote as early as Thursday, before senators depart for their weekends back home. But Cornyn said it’s too risky to cast the procedural vote without assurances enough people are here that it would get the 60 votes needed to advance.
“We don’t want to jeopardize anything,” Cornyn said. “I think prudence dictates that we do it Tuesday.”
Cornyn said he expects Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to announce that decision soon.