The House this week approved by voice vote the Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Act – a bipartisan bill that would strengthen Federal efforts to expand domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips.

The legislation would direct the U.S. Department of Commerce’s SelectUSA program – in collaboration with Federal agencies and state economic development organizations – to develop strategies to attract investment in U.S. semiconductor manufacturers and supply chains.

The SelectUSA program was established in 2011 to improve Federal efforts to attract business investments from foreign partners in the United States that support U.S. firms and create more jobs.

The Securing Semiconductor Supply Chains Act was reintroduced by Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Greg Pence, R-Ind., on Feb. 2, and passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 11 with a unanimous 49-0 vote.

A previous version of the House bill was introduced in the 117th Congress, but never made it out of committee.

A companion bill was also reintroduced in the Senate on Feb. 2 – sponsored by Sens. Gary Peters, D-Mich., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Rick Scott, R-Fla. That bill was approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee in May, sending it to the full Senate for consideration.

“We need to build on the CHIPS and Science Act to continue advancing efforts that will lower the cost of goods and strengthen our economic competitiveness, supply chains and national security,” Sen. Peters said when he reintroduced the bill.

“That’s why I’m reintroducing this bipartisan bill that would do just that by encouraging investment in U.S. semiconductor manufacturers as well as their suppliers – lessening our dependence on foreign producers for these critical technologies and creating good-paying jobs here at home,” he added.

The senators’ previous legislation in the 117th Congress passed the Senate but stalled when it reached the House.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.