Tech Policy

US moves closer to passing semiconductor, climate bills

The two bills would inject hundreds of billions into domestic tech—if they become law.
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Wednesday was a legislative twofer: There was movement on two previously stalled pieces of US legislation that, if signed into law, would have a deep and wide-ranging impact on emerging tech in the US.

The CHIPS+ Act, with $52 billion in semiconductor subsidies and $228 billion more for other science and tech projects, passed its key hurdle: the Senate. After months and months of negotiation, this version is expected to waltz through the House and onto Biden’s desk.

  • While the funding for, you know, chips, is the headline figure, most of the money will go to unrelated R&D deemed important to national security.
  • The bill frequently name-checks fields like AI, quantum, connectivity, precision ag, and energy.

Build Back Be—ahem, sorry—the Inflation Reduction Act, was dropped late in the evening, a surprise climate and tax deal announced by Senator Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. The legislation was salvaged from the wreckage of the Build Back Better negotiations, and includes a record-breaking $369 billion in climate spending. The plan is for it to go to vote next week.

  • Among many other things, the bill would extend the $7,500 federal EV tax credit and also provide $30 billion in tax credits for domestic production of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and critical materials.
  • It’d also allocate $27 billion to build a cleantech accelerator to help develop and deploy emissions-reducing technologies. 👀

Big picture: There’s no guarantee that either bill gets signed into law, but the developments Wednesday make that outcome much more likely.


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