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Senate Passes Boost to Science Research Funding

July 28, 2022

The Senate passed a $280 billion bill that will provide additional funding for scientific research focused on increasing the United States’ domestic capacity to produce semiconductor chips.

The Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act of 2022, better known as the CHIPS Act, was approved in a 64-to-33 vote in the Senate Wednesday. The bill is expected to pass swiftly in the House of Representatives.

“This legislation is an important step toward maintaining America’s scientific leadership on an increasingly competitive global stage,” said Barbara Snyder, president of the Association of American Universities, which represents the nation’s top private research universities.

The bill provides $52.7 billion to semiconductor companies to develop infrastructure and research projects in the U.S. The bill will also authorize $200 billion in science and technology research across many government agencies for the next few years and prohibit colleges from entering partnerships with China such as the Confucius Institutes.

The National Science Foundation would receive an overall $81 billion. The bill specifically states that the NSF must work to increase diversity by creating a new Senate-confirmed diversity officer at the agency as well as directing money to invest in education in rural areas, specifically in K-12 programs.

A new federal position created by the bill, the director of technology and innovation, would oversee distributing the funding appropriated by the bill.

“Senate passage of the CHIPS Act is an extraordinary victory for American science and innovation, but hardly a final one,” said Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. “The CHIPS Act must be step one in a process that ultimately includes Congress delivering the funding that will accomplish the goals of the legislation.”

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