Today, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) released a statement on the Senate vote to proceed with consideration of legislation to invest in the federal research enterprise and support domestic semiconductor production. The bill, which has frequently been referred to as CHIPS-plus, was advanced by a vote of 63-34. Although the Senate needed only 50 votes to proceed with consideration, Majority Leader Schumer decided the research provisions would only be included if there were 60 votes in support of it.
“While I am glad that today’s vote means that we will be able to continue work on critical competitiveness legislation, I am deeply disappointed in the process that led us here,” Lucas said. “The House Science Committee approached the competitiveness conference negotiations in good faith and worked diligently with our counterparts until four-corner talks were halted by the Senate. This critical legislation was held hostage as the Senate argued over reconciliation.
“Instead of restarting the productive four-corners negotiations once their partisan bickering was resolved, the Senate chose to act alone, creating a bill behind closed doors with no regard for House input or priorities and airdropping in provisions that were not part of the original conference process. In their effort to win 60 votes they seem to have forgotten that the bill must pass both chambers to become law.
“I believe that a bill with a strategic and targeted focus on our R&D enterprise, along with a version of CHIPS that includes strong guardrails, can and should be sent to the President this month. Unfortunately, I can’t determine whether this legislation meets these criteria because even now it is still being drafted and edited behind closed doors. I look forward to reading the final product when the Senate finishes their deal-making and am hopeful we can come to a bipartisan agreement in short order.”