An expansive bill aimed at reinvigorating America’s technological footprint to counter China passed the Senate on Tuesday and now heads to the House, where it faces a competing bill and somewhat murky future, reported US Today.
The legislation, called the Innovation and Competition Act, largely drew bipartisan support with the promise of bolstering America’s competitive edge by investing billions of dollars in scientific and technological innovations – including artificial intelligence, computer chips and robotics.
It passed 68-to-32 after some drama a few weeks ago of hours of behind-the-scenes negotiations, a flurry of last-minute amendments and an all-nighter of negotiations. Ultimately, Senate leaders canned it until the lawmakers returned from their Memorial Day recess after a compromise could not be reached.
President Joe Biden praised passage of the bill making generational investments in American workers. “This legislation addresses key elements that were included in my American Jobs Plan, and I am encouraged by this bipartisan effort to advance those elements separately through this bill,” Biden said in a statement. “It is long past time that we invest in American workers and American innovation.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the bill one of the most significant pieces of legislation passed in a long time, with a huge impact on the American economy and jobs.
“It’s the largest investment in scientific research and technological innovation in generations,” Schumer said. “It sets the United States on a path to lead the world in the industries of the future.”
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