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Bills, Bills, Bills

CHIPS, energy, healthcare efforts appear to make strides

A couple of federal bills we've been covering appeared to make progress this week.

First, a surprise announcement by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, featured an apparent change of heart that could shift the course of environmental policy. Manchin (verbally) agreed to hundreds of billions of dollars for climate and energy programs in a bill that would also reduce prescription drug prices, raise taxes on the affluent and shrink the federal deficit. He had previously been the sole Democratic holdout.

It remains to be seen whether these advances will come to fruition, especially with Congress set to take its summer recess in four days.

This has meaning for a number of different industries. Automobiles are in dire need due to the chip shortage. Overall economic competition with China is theoretically stabilized through this funding. And specifically for our readers, those connected to the semiconductor industry through their equipment or the supply chain should expect an improvement.

Also: A Senate Democratic deal includes a new $4,000 tax credit for used electric vehicles and new tax credits and grants for automakers to retool factories to build greener cars, Reuters reported earlier today. However, as we saw last week with Ford's layoffs—followed this week by 840 jobs being cut at Illinois EV maker Rivian—the romanticized electric vehicle market is prone to instability.

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