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U.S. Senate leader will add China tech bill to defense measure -Breaking


© Reuters. At the signing ceremony, U.S. President Joe Biden will sign “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act”, Senator Chuck Schumer spoke. The event took place on the South Lawn of the White House, Washington, U.S.A, November 15, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Monday that he would add legislation to increase U.S. competability with China to a huge defense policy bill. The Senate will begin consideration of the bill this week. This is a major boost to a measure which has been stalled in Congress for several months.

Schumer declared that there was a supply chain crisis and that it needed to be addressed. He made the announcement in a Senate speech, claiming that the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA would now include the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (or USICA).

USICA was passed by the Senate with strong bipartisan support in June. However, the House of Representatives did not vote on the bill. Since then, supporters of the bill have been trying to figure out a way for it to be passed and sent to the White House so that President Joe Biden can sign it into law.

Biden and Xi Jinping will hold a virtual summit later Monday.

Reuters reported Sunday that USICA supporters were looking at adding their provisions to the NDAA. The NDAA, one of only a few pieces of legislation which is passed every year in significant numbers, often serves as a platform for a variety of policy issues.

While it doesn’t guarantee USICA will be made law, the strategy can increase its chances of passing some of its most critical provisions.

USICA was approved by the Senate by 68 votes to 32. It would have authorized $190 billion to support U.S. technology research, as well as an additional $54 trillion to expand production and increase research into semiconductors.

When the Senate passes its version of NDAA, Senate negotiators and House negotiators work to compromise the Senate measure with a House bill that was passed earlier in the year.

Before it can go to Biden, the compromise must be approved by both the House of Representatives and Senate.

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