President Biden, meanwhile, stressed that some sort of competitiveness measure is essential for the future of the American economy.
“Together, we have an opportunity to show China and the rest of the world that the 21st century will be the American century – forged by the ingenuity and hard work of our innovators, workers and businesses,” he said last week.
While there’s widespread agreement in Washington that Congress should do something to address the microchip shortage and U.S. tech competitiveness, the politics of passing such a measure has proved to be difficult, especially in the House.
With progressives introducing an array of measures on tech competitiveness and beyond, Democrats have crafted a grab-bag tech bill that’s in many ways different than the Senate version. For example, while the Senate bill calls for $10 billion in funding for regional tech hubs, the House bill calls for only $7 billion.
But the most contentious provisions of the House bill are labor and environmental measures that will surely cause objections among the 18 Senate Republicans who voted for Schumer’s version of the bill.
House Republicans were quick to point out some of those provisions.
“The language in the legislation itself talks about coral reefs (and) climate change even more than China,” said Rep. Claudia Tenney, a Utica-area Republican who intends to run for re-election in a redrawn district that stretches across the Southern Tier and includes southern Erie County.