CHN: House Passes America COMPETES Act
On Feb. 4, the House passed the America Creating Opportunities for Manufacturing, Pre-Eminence in Technology and Economic Strength (COMPETES) Act of 2022 on a mostly party-line vote of 222-210. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) said in a statement, “The America COMPETES Act will connect our nation’s students and workers with the skills they need to succeed in high-tech industries while keeping our economy competitive in the years ahead. These investments will allow more K-12 schools to offer their students classes in computer sciences and create low-cost pathways for college STEM credits, and it builds on the bipartisan support for apprenticeships by expanding high-quality Registered Apprenticeship opportunities. Importantly, the jobs created by this legislation include protections to ensure workers are paid a decent wage.”
H.R. 4521 will also strengthen America’s supply chain, build clean energy solutions, and address the climate crisis. According to the American Immigration Council, the bill also contains several immigration provisions, including providing a direct path to permanent residence for immigrants who earn a Ph.D. in a specified field of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).
The House bill will likely need to be pared back to get bipartisan support in the Senate, which passed a narrower bill (S. 1260) last year. House and Senate committees were set to begin informal discussions last week, with formal conference negotiations to resolve key differences expected to begin in March.