House votes to spend tens of billions to compete with China in manufacturing

The measure would also invest in semiconductor chip research.

February 4, 2022, 7:11 PM

The House on Friday passed sweeping legislation that will invest billions of dollars in American manufacturing and scientific research in a bid to take on China's growing economic dominance.

The bill was approved along party lines, 222-210.

One Democrat, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.,voted against the bill, saying in a statement she objected to "problematic, poorly-vetted provisions" relating to trade.

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., was the sole Republican to vote "yes" with Democrats.

PHOTO: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during her America Competes Act event in the Rayburn Room in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 4, 2022.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during her America Competes Act event in the Rayburn Room in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 4, 2022.
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP

Passage of the bill comes nearly eight months after the Senate passed its own version last year. The two chambers will now go to conference over the bill to align the legislation into one final text that must pass both chambers again before it can reach President Joe Biden's desk.

"The America COMPETES Act will ensure that America is preeminent in manufacturing, innovation and economic strength, and can out-compete any nation," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said ahead of Friday's vote.

House leaders are urging swift action on the reconciliation process -- they've said their goal is to get it to Biden as soon as possible so he can tout the big win during his State of the Union address on March 1.

The House bill would provide $52 billion over five years to boost semiconductor research, manufacturing and design. This investment comes amid a global shortage of semiconductors, also known as chips, which are essential for the production of cars, smartphones, and medical equipment.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks about the good January jobs report at the White House in Washington, Feb. 4, 2022.
President Joe Biden speaks about the good January jobs report at the White House in Washington, Feb. 4, 2022.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

"The semiconductors are microchips that power virtually everything in our everyday lives. From our cell phones to automobiles, refrigerators, the internet, the electric grid without semiconductors, these things do not function in a modern economy," Biden said during his remarks on the January jobs report.

"The House of Representatives just passed ... over $90 billion for research and development, manufacturing and all those elements of the supply chain needed to produce products right here in America so we can keep delivering more announcements like the one we've had this past few weeks."

Biden also claimed that this legislation aims at lessening the fiscal impact of economic inflation that many Americans are experiencing with high food and gas prices.

The bill also provides $45 billion over six years in grants and loans to improve the supply chain issues.

The bill also includes numerous provisions seeking to apply diplomatic pressure on the Chinese government for its human rights violations against the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region.

While Republicans have been largely supportive of the measure over the last several months, House Republican leadership urged members to vote against the legislation on Friday, saying the bill is "too weak" on China.

ABC News' Noah Minnie contributed to this report.

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