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$120 Billion Bill Moves Along

The US Senate voted this week to advance a bill that would invest $120 billion in science with the aim of increasing competitiveness against China, the New York Times reports.

"If we're going to win the next century, the United States needs to be the one discovering the next groundbreaking technologies," Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a bill sponsor and Senate majority leader, tells the Times.

The bill, called the Endless Frontiers Act, includes $100 billion in funding for a new technology directorate at the National Science Foundation, Politico says. It adds, though, that the Senate Commerce Committee adopted an amendment to the bill that would instead shift some of those funds to labs run by the Department of Energy. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), a co-sponsor of the bill, tells Politico that that change could cost the bill some Republican support, though he is hopeful that a compromise could be reached.

The Times adds that Young has additionally argued that the bill should focus on applied research, but other lawmakers have pushed for funds to go to labs in their home states and districts that perform basic research.