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Senate Passes Tech, Research Bill

The US Senate has passed a bill aimed at boosting research and development in a bid to better compete against China, the New York Times reports.

Reuters adds that the bill, passed in a 68-32 vote, includes $190 billion in funding for technology and research as well as an additional $54 billion for semi-conductor and telecommunications research and development. "If we do nothing, our days as the dominant superpower may be ending. We don't mean to let those days end on our watch. We don't mean to see America become a middling nation in this century," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a co-sponsor of the bill, tells Reuters.

In addition to its focus on semi-conductors, the bill also funds a new directorate of technology and innovation at the National Science Foundation to focus, for instance, on artificial intelligence and quantum science, and $10 billion to develop a regional tech hub program, the Washington Post adds.

The Times notes that the bill may face a tougher time in the House of Representatives, as lawmakers there have been critical of its focus on emerging technologies.

Reuters adds that China reacted "indignantly" to the vote, as Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin objected "to the United States seeing China as an imaginary enemy."