Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) welcomed the passage of the bipartisan COMPETES Act, a comprehensive package that addresses supply chain issues, promotes American manufacturing and invests in American STEM innovation.
“Few things are more important to my community members right now than strengthening our supply chains and getting inflation under control,” Houlahan said. “The truth is that decades of decline in American manufacturing have left our economy vulnerable to global disruptions like this pandemic. I worked with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to strengthen this bill, and I was pleased to see my specific proposals included. It is high time for Congress to act.
His bipartisan bill, the Strengthening Military and Security Supply Chains Act, passed by amendment with a vote of 262 to 168. That bill, co-led by Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), will reduce foreign dependence on life-saving drugs for the military.
His bipartisan effort with fellow Pennsylvanian Rep. Guy Reschenthaler passed as part of the same package of amendments — 262-168. This amendment directs the National Academies to investigate the possibility of providing enhanced research security services to further protect the United States research enterprise from foreign interference, theft, and espionage.
The COMPETES Act fully funds the CHIPS Act, as Houlahan has repeatedly requested to address the shortage in the semiconductor supply chain. Since 1990, the global share of semiconductor manufacturing in the United States has fallen from 37% to 12%.
“Although our economy has shown resilience, recovering 87% of the 22 million jobs lost during the pandemic, families are still suffering – cutting costs and moving goods is a top priority of mine,” Houlahan said. “This legislation means that vehicles will not be stuck on the assembly line because we are expecting semiconductors from abroad. This means faster delivery times for goods as they will be made right here in America, and better jobs as we make overdue investments in STEM research in our community.
Although Houlahan recognizes the need to move this supply chain and competitiveness bill quickly to the president’s desk, his support has not been without pause. This week, Houlahan met with Speaker Pelosi to voice her concerns in an effort to improve the bill before the House passes it.
“I represent an incredibly engaged and civic community, and I’ve heard from several groups, including the Chamber of Commerce and the agricultural sector, raising concerns about specific aspects of the COMPETES Act,” Houlahan added. “I was disappointed when some of my efforts to address these specific concerns were blocked, but I remain committed to working toward a bipartisan compromise with the Senate in conference committee. This bill is too important for families in Pennsylvania to save money – we have to get it right.
Key provisions of the COMPETES Act include making America’s much-needed semiconductors, fixing the supply chain and strengthening American manufacturing, and driving excellence in scientific research, technology, and manufacturing. innovation in the United States. It will also help secure America’s global competitiveness and leadership through economic development, Houlahan said.