The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed the Chips and Science Act by a vote of 243 to 187. The bill, which was introduced in the Senate more than a year ago, provides grants and incentives to the semiconductor industry and encourages research. It also creates a blockchain and cryptocurrency specialist position within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).
The bill passed the Senate on Wednesday. It has an overall prize of $280 billion, including $52 billion in subsidies and incentives for U.S. semiconductor makers who face fierce competition from China, and $170 billion in incentives to the research. It should also help alleviate supply chain issues in the industry.
️ Good news from DC: the Chips Bill which has just been approved by Congress creates a dedicated space @POTUS advisor on blockchain and web3 to the White House OSTP. Some of us have been pushing this for a long time. Large accessories for @RepDarrenSoto for the amendment that made this possible. pic.twitter.com/0V35cOubbH
—Tomicah Tillemann (@TomicahTD) July 29, 2022
In the long chapter “Miscellaneous provisions relating to science and technology” of the bill there is a section create a Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Specialist position at OSTP to “advise the President on blockchain and cryptocurrency matters.” According to a statement published by Florida Democratic Rep. Darren Soto, the wording for this provision comes from a bill he introduced separately. Soto said in the statement:
“As co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I am proud to promote the policy needed to ensure that innovation continues to take shape in our government and the CHIPS and Science Act will do just that. .”
Soto has a long history of crypto advocacy. He was co-sponsor with Republican Tom Emmer of the 2020 bill to exclude small purchases made with crypto from capital gains tax. Him and Emmer were also among the co-sponsors of the Digital Commodity Exchange Act reintroduced in April 2022. The OSTP played a role in several of the initiatives mandated by President Joe Biden’s executive order on ensuring responsible development of digital assets.