Democrats seeks to pump more money in research and development in a bid to stay competitive against China.

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US Senate Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will add legislation to boost US competitiveness with China to a massive defense policy bill the Senate is due to begin considering this week, a boost for a measure that has been stalled for months in the House of Representatives.

"Our supply chain crisis needs attending to and we cannot wait," Schumer said in a Senate speech announcing that the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, would be amended to include the US Innovation and Competition Act, or USICA.

The Senate passed USICA with a strong bipartisan vote in June, but the measure never received a vote in the House of Representatives. 

Supporters of the bill have since been working to find a way to pass it and send it to the White House for President Joe Biden to sign into law.

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As one of the few major pieces of legislation passed every year, the NDAA often acts as a vehicle for a range of policy issues.

That strategy does not guarantee that USICA will become law, but it increases the chances for some of its most important provisions.

The measure would authorize $190 billion to strengthen US technology and research, and an additional $54 billion to increase production and research into semiconductors and telecommunications equipment.

Once the Senate approves its version of the NDAA, Senate and House negotiators will work on a compromise between the Senate measure and a version of the bill passed by the House earlier this year.

That compromise must then pass both the House and Senate before it can be sent to Biden.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies