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The bill passed the Senate and now awaits President Biden’s signature.

Congress approved $52 billion in funding for domestic semiconductor manufacturing, as reported this week by The Verge. If the bill becomes law, popular tech products like gaming consoles and graphics cards would be easier and cheaper to buy, according to the report.

The House passed the $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act In a 243-187 vote on Thursday. The Act aims to strengthen US science and technology innovation. The bill is a Biden administration priority and includes $52 billion in subsidies to encourage chip manufacturers to build out semiconductor fabrications plants, or ‘fabs’, in the United States.

After months of negotiations between the House and Senate, Thursday’s approval resolves the looming threat of chipmakers reconsidering plans to build US plants. Earlier this month, the groundbreaking ceremony for a $20 billion Intel foundry was delayed while the funding remained stalled.

Representative Frank Pallone delivered a floor statement ahead of the vote. “The American people may not know it, but semiconductors are integral to their everyday experiences”, he said. “They are microchips used in automobiles, consumer electronics, and washing machines.”

Overcoming the pandemic-fueled chip shortage

The coronavirus pandemic upended a wide variety of industries, but especially businesses that manufacture products that require semiconductor chips. Demand for tech products, like laptops, consoles, and tablets, skyrocketed as consumers grew accustomed to spending more time at home instead of at school or the office. The confluence of demand and pandemic-related supply chain disruptions spurred a global semiconductor shortage that hardware suppliers like Nvidia and AMD are struggling to resolve.

“For decades, some ‘experts’ said we needed to give up on manufacturing in America. I never believed that. Manufacturing jobs are back”, President Joe Biden said in a statement on Wednesday. “Thanks to this bill, we are going to have even more of them.” President Joe Biden has encouraged lawmakers to pass the measure, but it’s unclear when he intends to sign it into law.