“This would really put the spotlight on the next level of innovation,” said Debbie Altenburg, associate vice president at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. “There is significant investment in grants, grants and internships so we make sure we invest in domestic workers too.”
However, the question of how the research money can be spent was hotly debated. Mr Young’s complaints last week came as he tried unsuccessfully to block a bipartisan push to divert roughly half of the funds – originally intended for new National Science Foundation initiatives – to laboratories across the country, the operated by the Ministry of Energy.
A bipartisan group of senators who have one or more department-run laboratories in their states, including Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, a critical Democratic vote, and Ben Ray Luján, Democrat of New Mexico, had called for the change.
Mr Young had argued that the bill should only be used for applied research that would produce a tangible product that would help the United States compete with China. But many lawmakers in both parties – including the House Science Committee, which must also approve the legislation – have instead worked to redirect it to laboratories in their states and districts doing basic research.
Other senators also took the opportunity to include provisions on pets in the bill.
Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell, chair of the trade committee, added a full draft permit for NASA as well as provisions that would help Boeing in their state. A group of Republicans, led by Senator Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, has instituted a measure requiring the government to investigate whether the Chinese government is using twin town partnerships as a means of espionage.
The Senators also approved a provision by Senator Gary Peters, Democrat of Michigan, to pump $ 2 billion into the semiconductor industry to help ease the bottlenecks that have shut down auto plants in Detroit and elsewhere.
Mr Schumer announced Tuesday evening that lawmakers would also consider additional funding for laws passed last year to bolster the semiconductor industry. The negotiations were embroiled in a party-political labor dispute aimed at obliging manufacturers to pay their workers the applicable wages.