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House Passes Research Bill

The US House of Representatives has passed a $300 billion bill that would fund scientific research and development as well as invest in manufacturing as part of a bid to out-compete China, according to the New York Times.

The bill, which passed the House in a nearly party-line vote of 222 to 210, includes $52 billion to spur domestic semi-conductor chip production and $45 billion for grants and loans to bolster manufacturing and domestic supply chains, the Hill reports. It adds that the bill also includes boosts to scientific research funding at the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

"We are acting to address the critical needs identified by the scientific community, industry, academia, and other stakeholders as what they need most to succeed in the 21st century," Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), the House science committee chair, tells the Times.

The Times notes, though, that the bill is unlikely to become law in its current form, as the Senate has taken a contrasting approach to boosting US competitiveness in its own bill. It passed a bill last June that House members have criticized as overly focused on specific emerging fields like quantum computing and artificial intelligence, the Times adds.

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