WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bill that aims to make the U.S. more competitive with China is a step closer to becoming law.
The Senate and House have each passed their own versions of the legislation, known as the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act and the America Competes Act, respectively. Lawmakers are starting the process of working out the differences.
The goal behind the legislation is to make America a leader in new technology, said Sen. Todd Young (R-Indiana), who has helped lead the effort.
“We can’t be reliant on other countries for critical components related to our next generation technologies,” Young said.
Sen. Young pointed out the legislation directs billions of dollars toward research in areas like artificial intelligence and quantum computing. This would help make the U.S. more competitive against countries like China, he said.
“The wars of the future will be won or lost possibly because of these sorts of technologies,” Sen. Young said.
The legislation would also direct $52 billion to American manufacturing of semiconductor chips.
“It’s a strong package to fix our supply chains and start making more critical products here in America,” said Rep. André Carson (D-Indiana), who voted in favor of the bill in the House.
In the Senate, the bill passed with bipartisan support on a 68-32 vote. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Indiana) voted against the legislation.
The House version includes provisions related to labor and climate change, leading to only one House Republican voting in favor of the bill.
None of the House Republicans in Indiana’s congressional delegation supported that version of the legislation.
“This legislation does little to address the growing threat that is the Chinese Communist Party and instead, it is another attempt to jam through Congress a wish list of liberal policies,” Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Indiana) said in a statement after the House vote.
“In the end, I think the legislation is going to have to look a lot like what we passed out of the U.S. Senate on a very strong bipartisan vote, as opposed to the Democrat bill which passed out of the House of Representatives,” Sen. Young said.
Meanwhile, some experts say they believe the legislation could have a big impact on Indiana and the U.S., both in terms of global competition and the economy.
“These things don’t happen quickly, but these elements can be put in place so that in the future, we won’t have our auto manufacturers closing their plants for two weeks because of the lack of chips,” said Mohan Tatikonda, supply chain management professor at the IU Kelley School of Business.
Negotiations on a final version of the bill will likely take a few months. Sen. Young said he is “confident” lawmakers can reach a deal by July 4.