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President Biden hacked his comments before signing a $280 billion bill to boost domestic semiconductor chip production and compete with China on Tuesday morning.
The 79 president, who eventually tested negative for Covid-19 on Saturday following a rebound infection with the disease, touted the bill as a measure of national security and job creation in between the mucous coughs.
“It’s no wonder the Chinese Communist Party actively lobbied corporate America against this,” he said.
The White House news agency said after the speech that Biden had tested negative on Tuesday morning and Monday.
Biden tested positive for COVID for the first time on July 21. He took Paxlovid antiviral treatment for the condition and tested negative on July 27. He then returned to the West Wing masked, but rebounded on July 30, with another positive test result.
“We are at a turning point in our country and around the world,” Biden said during remarks outside the White House. “There are fundamental changes taking place today, political, economic and technological, changes that can strengthen our sense of control and security, of dignity and pride in our lives in our country, or change that weakens us.”
Biden was joined onstage by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who sparred all her members on board to vote for the bill — Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who led the bill through the Senate. A number of lawmakers from both parties, cabinet secretaries and leaders in the electric car and technology industry were spotted in the crowd.
At one point, Schumer went down a line and shook hands with those on stage after his comments. He shook hands with the president, then moved on to others, and moments later Biden reached out again, causing Republicans on Twitter to wonder if the president “forgot” Schumer that he’d already greeted him.
Biden thanked Republicans who worked on the bill, including Sens. Todd Young, Ind., and Rob Portman, Ohio, who both stood around the president as he signed the bill before apologizing for getting them “in trouble.”
“Vice President Harris second gentlemen, cabinet members, White House team members, bipartisan congress in the United States, Majority Leader, Senators Cantwell, Young, Portman, I don’t want to get you in trouble, but you’ve done a hell of a lot. a task. That’s another story.
“We are facing an inflection point in our country and around the world,” Biden said during comments outside the White House
President praised $280 billion semiconductor chip bill between coughs
Biden finally tested negative for Covid-19 four days ago on Saturday
“It probably cost you – my apologies. Thank you. Thank you. And along with Senators Cornyn and Wicker, who helped keep this bill on track, it started to wind up in the House.”
On Monday, the president had a sloppy exit from Marine One in Kentucky as he made his way to Air Force One — struggling to get his blazer on as the jacket sleeves fluttered in the wind. First Lady Jill had to step in and hold on to his sleeves. Moments later, he dropped his aviator sunglasses onto the tarmac, though they remained intact despite the fall.
The semiconductor bill was passed by both the House and Senate in late July.
The package includes $52 billion in funding for US companies to manufacture computer chips and a 25 percent tax credit for companies investing in the market. It includes $39 billion for chip manufacturers to expand and modernize their technologies and $11 billion for the Commerce Department for research and development. It includes another $81 billion for the National Science Foundation.
“America invented the semiconductor, but today produces about 10 percent of the world’s supply — and none of the most advanced chips,” the White House said in a fact sheet on the bill. “Instead, we depend on East Asia for 75 percent of global production.”
The US relies heavily on Taiwan for its microchip supply, imports threatened by China’s creeping encroachment on democracy on the island.
Biden signs CHIPS bill after it passes Senate by 17 Republican votes
The bill will pump billions to boost domestic chip production and compete with China
“Fifty, 75, 100 years from now. People will look back on this week and now know that we met this moment today. The bill that I am signing into law, the chips and the science, is a generational investment in America itself,” Biden said in his comments.
The bill had won the support of 17 Republicans in the Senate, including minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and members of his leadership team, including GOP policy committee chair Senator Roy Blunt, R-Mo. R-Texas and Rob Portman, R-Ohio.
However, shortly after the Senate vote, Senator Joe Manchin announced that he had struck a deal with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on a $739 billion reconciliation spending bill called the Inflation Reduction Act — a new version of the Build Back Better law that the Republicans had voted unanimously against.
Jill Biden helps President Joe Biden put on his suit jacket as the Bidens prepare to leave Kentucky
President Biden picks up his aviator sunglasses after dropping them
Schumer Celebrates Bill Ahead of Biden’s Comments
The House GOP leadership then slammed the spending bill in protest at Manchin’s announcement. Still, 24 Republicans voted with Democrats to pass the legislation.
Critics of the bill, including Senator Bernie Sanders who voted no, viewed the industry tax breaks as an excessive subsidy to large tech companies. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi was able to keep even the House Progressive Caucus united in support of the bill.
After the bill was passed, the White House praised Micron’s investment of $40 billion in manufacturing memory chips used in computers and other electronic devices, and Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries announced a $4.2 billion partnership. to be spent on expanding microchip facilities in New York State.