Senate passes massive bipartisan legislation to combat China

Senate passes massive bipartisan bill to combat China's growing economic influence
Chinese president Xi Jinping and US president Joe Biden. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: On Tuesday, the US Senate passed rare bipartisan legislation aimed at countering China’s growing economic influence by investing more than $200 billion in American technology, research and science.

The final vote was 68-32. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was the only member of the Democratic caucus to vote against the legislation. Nineteen Senators from Republican Party joined Democrats voting for passage.

Passage of the bill, called the US Innovation and Competition Act, is a victory for the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat who co-wrote and strongly backed the move, and for President Biden, who made reaching across the aisle a central promise of his governing strategy, although the president has faced criticism for moving unilaterally on his largest agenda items to this point.

The sweeping bipartisan legislation aims to confront China’s influence on multiple fronts and “will supercharge American innovation and preserve our competitive edge for generations to come,” Mr Schumer said.

The legislation still needs to pass the House before going to Joe Biden’s desk. Gregory Meeks, the House Foreign Affairs Chairman, introduced a corresponding bill in the House last month but it’s not clear when that legislation will get a vote.

Many top Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, warned for weeks that Senate Republicans would block the legislation unless they got more votes on GOP-backed amendments.

On Tuesday, ahead of the bill’s passage, McConnell again argued that Schumer closed debate on the bill too soon and the legislation is “incomplete.”

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