Senate considers investing $ 120 billion in science to counter China

“This would really put the spotlight on the next stage of innovation,” said Debbie Altenburg, associate vice president of the Land-Grant and Public University Association. “There is significant investment in scholarships and fellowships and traineeships, so we are also making sure that we are investing in the national workforce.”

However, the question of how to distribute the research money has been hotly debated. Young’s complaints last week came as he tried unsuccessfully to block a bipartisan push to direct about half of the funds, which were initially earmarked for new initiatives at the National Science Foundation, to laboratories across the country run by the Department. of Energy.

A bipartisan group of senators who have one or more department-run labs in their states, including Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a critical Democratic vote, and Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat of New Mexico, had called for change.

Young had argued that the bill should spend money only on applied research that would produce a tangible product to help the United States compete with China. But many lawmakers from both parties, including the House science committee, which must also pass the legislation, have worked to divert it to labs in their states and districts conducting basic research.

Other senators also took the opportunity to insert pet provisions into the bill.

Washington State Sen. Maria Cantwell, chair of the trade committee, added a full authorization bill for NASA, as well as provisions that would help her state-based Boeing. A group of Republicans led by Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee inserted a measure that requires the government to study whether the Chinese government was using sister city associations as a vehicle for espionage.

Senators also approved a provision by Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan, to inject $ 2 billion into the semiconductor industry, in a bid to mitigate shortages that have shuttered auto plants in Detroit and elsewhere.

Schumer announced Tuesday night that lawmakers would also consider additional funding for legislation that was passed last year to boost the semiconductor industry. The negotiations had been embroiled in a partisan labor dispute over whether to require manufacturers to pay their employees the current wage.

Add Comment