Biden to huddle virtually with labor leaders, CEOs on semiconductor bill

President Biden will meet virtually with labor leaders and business executives on Monday afternoon to press Congress to pass legislation boosting the domestic semiconductor industry.  

In an updated schedule, the White House said the meeting would focus on “the importance of passing the Chips Act to bolster America’s competitive edge, manufacturing power, and national security.”

Biden, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Thursday, is expected to participate in the meeting virtually from the White House residence, where he has been isolating for the past several days. It’s one of two public appearances the president is expected to make on Monday as he recovers from the virus.  

Biden’s physician, Kevin O’Connor, said in a memo on Sunday that the president’s symptoms were “significantly improving” and that he was mainly experiencing a sore throat. O’Connor is expected to deliver another update on the president’s condition on Monday.  

The meeting precedes a busy week on Capitol Hill, where the Senate is scheduled to take a procedural vote on the bill — formally known as the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act — which would invest $52 billion in the domestic semiconductor industry.  

The bill has bipartisan support and is a major priority of the Biden administration, but has been held up repeatedly due to partisan squabbles. The measure needs 60 votes to advance on Monday, after which a final vote would be held later in the week.  

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks are also scheduled to attend Monday’s meeting with labor leaders and CEOs. The White House did not immediately share the names of the private sector attendees.  

Biden administration officials argue that the legislation would help the U.S. become more competitive against China while also easing supply chain issues that have plagued the U.S. during the pandemic.  

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