(FiveNation.com)- On Thursday, in a 243 to 187 vote, the House passed the “CHIPS+” bill that will provide $50 billion in federal subsidies to the US semiconductor industry. Initially, the legislation was supposed to include provisions boosting security against China. But when the Senate finally voted on the bill on Wednesday, the anti-China security provisions were no longer included.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stripped the anti-China Security provision from the CHIPS+ bill that would have barred US companies from manufacturing products made in China like semiconductors that are developed using federally-funded research.
The provision, written by Republican Senator Rob Portman, was removed earlier this month. However, the reason it was removed is unclear.
Its removal, however, caused many Republicans in both the Senate and the House who previously supported the legislation to urge Republican lawmakers to vote against the measure.
However, 17 Senate Republicans and 24 House Republicans defied their leadership and voted in favor of the watered-down bill.
GOP leaders argued that the bill is funneling billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to an industry that doesn’t need government handouts.
Georgia Republican Congressman Jody Hice blasted the bait and switch, telling NBC News that without any anti-China security provisions, the CHIPS+ bill is “out-of-control spending that we don’t have the money for.”
But not all Republicans agreed.
Proponents of the legislation argue that the bill is vital to US national security as it boosts domestic microchip manufacturing, making the US less reliant on chips manufactured in China, Taiwan, and elsewhere.
Texas Congressman Mike McCaul, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said, China hates the CHIPS+ bill and lobbied against it because “they know it’ll help us compete against them.”
But if China lobbied against it, it looks like Beijing’s lobbying efforts paid off since the stringent security originally included in the watered-down bill ended up on the scrap heap.
The bill now goes to President Biden for his signature.