House Passes America COMPETES Act

The House of Representatives passed the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength (America COMPETES) Act of 2022 (H.R. 4521) on Friday by a vote of 222-210 predominantly along party lines.

The bill aims to invest in domestic research and manufacturing to enhance the country’s global competitiveness and includes provisions to authorize funding for the National Science Foundation, provide support to early-career researchers and to diversify the research workforce, and increase reporting requirements for foreign gifts and contracts to institutions of higher education.

The Senate passed its own version of the bill — the Innovation and Competition Act — in June of last year, and now the two chambers must reconcile and again vote on the legislation before it can be sent to President Joe Biden‘s desk.

Biden called for the two chambers to come together on the legislation “as soon as possible.”

“Business and labor alike have praised this legislation as vital for continuing the economic momentum we’ve seen over the last year, and national security leaders from both parties have said that the investments in this bill are needed if we want to maintain our competitive edge globally,” Biden said.

“This bill was built on numerous bipartisan elements and on shared bipartisan agreement on the need to act. If House Republicans are serious about lowering prices, making our economy stronger, and competing with China from a position of strength, then they should come to the table and support this legislation, which does just that.”

If signed into law, the COMPETES Act would invest nearly $300 billion in scientific research and domestic manufacturing. Of that, $52 billion in grants would go toward subsidies for semiconductor manufacturers, along with $45 billion in grants to boost supply chains.

“The America COMPETES Act will build on the successes of the bipartisan infrastructure law; together, they will make it easier for American businesses and workers to produce and export the twenty-first century products that America and the world needs, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement after the bill passed.

“This legislation will also help us address inflation by securing critical supply chains, which is important not only for our economic growth but also for our national security. It will help American businesses manufacture the microchips and semiconductors that are critical to so many high-tech industries in our country and the jobs they sustain and create.”

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