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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Thursday that Congress could pass the “transformational” Competes Act before July 4, saying they hope to celebrate its passage before the holiday.
The Competes Act of 2022 would approve billions of dollars for programs to accelerate U.S. manufacturing of critical supplies and goods such as semiconductor chips, increasing U.S. might in sectors dominated largely by China.
The bill is also intended to address the supply chain disruptions still plaguing the nation, which have helped fuel high inflation.
At her weekly press conference, Pelosi said there is currently “a big lobbying effort” in Congress around the Competes Act, but she added she still hopes for passage of the bill before Independence Day.
“It’s a transformational bill for America that will make us independent, that will make us self-sufficient,” Pelosi said.
The bill is more than 2,000 pages long and will authorize a wide array of services, investments and programs intended to increase American-made goods and address supply chain woes that shook the economy during the pandemic.
At its heart, the Competes Act will create a $52 billion fund via the Chips for America Act to invest in U.S.-produced semiconductor chips; authorize $45 billion to bolster American supply chains; and create new programs and research centers to help advance scientific research into cutting edge technologies.
Supply chain disruptions — including a massive semiconductor chip shortage — caused by the pandemic are one reason for inflation reaching a 40-year high in April. High inflation and economic concerns are the largest issue for American voters ahead of the midterm elections, according to polls.
The Competes Act first passed the House in February before a separate but similar piece of legislation was passed in the Senate in March. Congress is now trying to reconcile differences and marry the legislation together before sending it to President Biden’s desk.
Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) said Congress held its first workshop on the Competes Act on May 12, promoting the bill on Twitter as a measure that will “fight inflation & lower costs.”