The U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which would invest some $50 billion into domestic semiconductor manufacturing, is broadly popular, according to new polling from the progressive firm Data for Progress.
But let’s start with what really matters: The bill’s already passed the Senate. Indeed, the USICA, which was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and aims to make the U.S. more competitive with China, passed the Senate with bipartisan support last June.
Semiconductor chips are critical components of consumer products, including cars, smartphones, and medical equipment. A pandemic-driven shortage of the chips has led to supply chain issues that have resulted in both a scarcity of some products and inflated prices that have hit consumers hard.
The House plans to take up its version of the bill, the America Competes Act, later this week, according to The Hill. Assuming the House version passes, it would then be reconciled with the Senate version (which is slightly different) and sent to President Joe Biden’s desk.
Now back to the polling from the progressive polling firm Data for Progress: 73% of voters support the bill while just 16% oppose it. Support also crosses party lines, with backing from 84% of Democrats, 71% of Independents, and 63% of Republicans.
Additionally, the survey found that 84% of respondents believe investing in new American factories could help produce critical supply chain components, thereby easing some of the nation’s current supply chain woes. In fact, that view was overwhelmingly shared by respondents in every party, including 86% of Democrats, 82% of Independents, and 84% of Republicans.
Likewise, the White House launched a supply chain initiative last year that largely focused on promoting domestic semiconductor manufacturing along with research and development. So this is a case where the White House and the public see eye-to-eye on the problem and agree on at least some of the solutions.
Heading into the midterms, President Joe Biden needs wins, legislative and otherwise. Perhaps even more importantly, voters need to believe that Biden and congressional Democrats are taking steps to ease inflation woes while boosting jobs and the economy. This particular bill has the added benefit of taking China head-on while reducing U.S. dependence on its goods.
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