Washington Watch: Congress could pass $52 billion chips bill by end of next week, analysts say

by | Jul 20, 2022 | Stock Market

After a bipartisan bill that aims to support the U.S. semiconductor industry cleared a key procedural hurdle on Tuesday, analysts say the measure could end up scoring full approval from Congress by the end of next week. “All indications are that the Senate is on track to pass this bill next week,” said analysts at Beacon Policy Advisors in a note on Wednesday.

“This will set the House for a vote before it is scheduled to leave for its August recess on July 29th and to then send the bill to President Biden for his signature.” The vote on Tuesday occurred in the 50-50 Senate, with 64 senators supporting the legislation, which provides about $52 billion to subsidize domestic production of microchips

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat, is now adding science funding to the measure, because Tuesday’s vote indicated there was enough Republican support for additional provisions. The additions are likely to include “provisions to shorten the time it takes to get a permit to build a semiconductor manufacturing plant, expanded intellectual property protections, and a one-year retroactive research and development tax credit,” Beacon’s analysts wrote. Other analysts have warned that the ongoing tinkering with the bill, which is being called the CHIPS-Plus Act, could end up hurting its prospects. “Expanding the package beyond its narrow focus has the same potential to pick up votes as it does to dissuade others,” said analysts at Height Capital Markets in a note on Wednesday. “Furthermore, if additional provisions are added in the Senate, the House may not be willing to simply accept another Senate bill without adding their own priorities, complicating the process.” Height’s analysts said while winning 64 votes, including 15 Republican yeas, is a strong signal that a CHIPS bill will ultimately get the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate, their odds for passage remain at 75% due to uncertainty in the House with progressive Democrats and Republicans. “CHIP …

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