'The bill that united the Senate:' Media reacts to passage of Endless Frontier Act
The United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 (USICA), formerly known as the Endless Frontier Act, is United States legislation sponsored by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) authorizing $110 billion for basic and advanced technology research over a five year period. It passed the Senate by a 68-32 margin on June 8. The bill, which is now being debated in the House, was reintroduced in April.
What the press is saying:
“American politicians are worried about the rise China as a tech power. Now they are finally doing something about the threat. It’s rare that Washington politicians are the right side of the tech landscape. More often they are fighting battles that have already been decided, like trying to divvy up internet search or social media. Yet they are correct to take on China in the race to develop next generation technologies like AI, quantum computing and 5G. They are also correct to try to move more chip manufacturing to the United States. It is a national security imperative.” (Forbes,“Congress Finally Backs a Smart Tech Bill”, 6/10/21)
“The United States Senate overwhelmingly passed the kind of historic and sweeping spending bill that typically triggers bitter partisan warfare.” (The New York Times’ The Daily Podcast with Michael Barbaro, “The Bill That United the Senate”, 6/09/21)
“The bill's supporters cite the measure as evidence that the deeply divided Senate can still function on a bipartisan basis…It's also a sign of the widespread consensus that has emerged around the need to outcompete China on the world stage, including by revitalizing U.S. manufacturing and research and cracking down on Beijing's economic abuses.” (Axios, 6/10/21)
“China has been closing the tech gap in recent years by making bold investments in tech with the intent of overtaking the United States. This is a tech war we cannot afford to lose. It’s imperative that Congress pass the Endless Frontier Act and authorize the biggest R&D tech investment in the United States since the Apollo years.” (San Jose Mercury News, 6/10/21)
“Sixty-eight senators understood the threat to America. It was a remarkably lopsided majority in these divisive times, and it included some of the country’s most conservative Republicans.” (Buffalo News, 6/10/21)
“Beijing slammed the bill Wednesday, with Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin telling a regular press briefing that it advocates for strategic competition with China and ‘gravely interferes with China’s domestic affairs,’ including its repressive policies in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), Tibet, and Hong Kong.” (Radio Free Asia, 6/10/21)
“Another aspect of the bill, $50 billion for semiconductor development and manufacturing, could be a boon to Indiana automakers, which have had to close sporadically and convert parking lots into large-scale storage facilities due to a global shortage of microchips. In Kokomo, thousands of workers at the local Stellantis Transmission Plant, were furloughed for weeks last month and local union leaders anticipated the microchip shortage would drag on.” (Herald Bulletin, 6/09/21)
Compiled by the staff of Sen. Todd Young.