The U.S. House and Senate are officially moving forward with a Conference committee to reconcile differences between two bills each chamber passed to incentivize U.S. manufacturing, increase domestic semiconductor production and counter China’s technological rise. The House of Representatives, on Feb. 4, 2022, passed long-awaited legislation after the Senate passed its bipartisan version last summer by a 68-32 vote. However, the House version only received a single GOP vote after Democrats included a number of controversial provisions in their bill, such as language to expand unions and make it easier to organize.
House and Senate negotiators will work over the coming weeks to reach a compromise bill they can send to the White House. Democrats hope for passage by President Biden’s March 1 State of the Union address, although most in Washington doubt they can meet that deadline. The $52 billion toward semiconductors, funding for job training and billions in research-and-development funding will likely remain in the final bill. Uncertainty remains over the trade provisions and other controversial items, especially those facing Republican opposition. We could see a final bill in March or April because the top negotiators set a Memorial Day deadline for completion for what could be one of the only bipartisan bills signed into law this election year.