WASHINGTON D.C.: The U.S. Senate voted 86-11 on May 17 to bring to the floor a bill authorizing more than $110 billion in technology research, in a bid to counter China.
If approved, the Endless Frontier Act would direct $100 billion for research, commercialization of research, along with education and training programs in key technology areas, such as artificial intelligence.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate will begin floor discussions on the bill on May 18.
“We can either have a world where the Chinese Communist Party determines the rules of the road for 5G, AI and quantum computing – or we can make sure the United States gets there first,” Schumer said, calling it a “once-in-a-generation investment in American science and American technology,” as quoted by Reuters.
The Congress is also developing a $52 billion allocation for manufacturing semiconductor chips in the United States.
Other China related bills are expected to be worked into the final package.
Schumer added that the bill “will fortify weak spots in our economy, like semiconductors.”
The White House said Monday it supports the Endless Frontier bill that “would authorize historic investments in critical science and engineering research, from artificial intelligence to advanced energy… It would strengthen scientific research and technology commercialization activities at academic institutions across the country.”
Also, Republican Senator Steve Daines said he will introduce an amendment this week to encourage the mining of critical minerals to ensure the United States remains globally competitive.