The United States House of Representatives passed the Chips and Science Act on Thursday by a vote of 243 to 187. The bill, introduced in the Senate more than a year ago, provides grants and incentives to the semiconductor industry and encourages research. It also created a blockchain and cryptocurrency specialist position in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday. It has an overall price tag of $280 billion, which includes $52 billion in grants and incentives for US semiconductor manufacturers facing fierce competition from China, and $170 billion in incentives for research. It is expected to contribute to the reduction of supply chain problems in the industry as well.
️ Good news from DC: The Chip Bill passed by Congress makes it special @POTUS blockchain and web3 advisor at the White House OSTP. Some of us have been pushing this for a long time. big props to @RepDarrenSoto for the amendment that has taken place. pic.twitter.com/0V35cOubbH
– Tomicah Tillemann (@TomicahTD) July 29, 2022
Tucked into the long “Miscellaneous Science and Technology Provisions” chapter of the Bill is the section make blockchain and cryptocurrency specialist position at OSTP to “advise the President on issues related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.” According to the statement released by Democratic Florida Representative Darren Soto, the language of the provision comes from the Bill that he introduced himself. Soto said in a statement:
“As co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I am proud to foster the policies needed to ensure innovation continues to take shape in our government and CHIPS and the Science Act will do just that.”
Soto has a long record of crypto advocacy. They was co-sponsored with Republican Tom Emmer of the 2020 bill to exempt small purchases made with crypto from capital tax. He and Emmer are also among the sponsors of the Digital Commodity Exchange Act reauthorized in April 2022. OSTP given a role in several initiatives ordered by President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets.