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U.S. House Democrat says agreement coming on semiconductor bill

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WASHINGTON — U.S. House Democratic Caucus chair Hakeem Jeffries said on Wednesday “significant progress” had been made on a proposed bill to boost the U.S. semiconductor industry and he believes an agreement on it will be reached by the end of July.

The legislation would fund $52 billion for chip production subsidies and boost U.S. scientific and technological innovation to compete with China.

The Senate passed a version of the bill in June 2021, and the House passed a version in February. Lawmakers must resolve their differences and pass the legislation through both chambers again before President Joe Biden can sign it into law.

“We are working hard to find the common ground. Significant progress has been made,” Jeffries told reporters at a news conference.

Even if the House and Senate reach agreement, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has threatened to block passage if Democrats move ahead with a partisan effort to raise corporate taxes and curb carbon emissions.

A shortage of chips has disrupted the automotive and electronics industries, forcing some companies to scale back production. (Reporting by Katharine Jackson; editing by Andy Sullivan and Richard Chang)

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