A $280 billion bill aimed at strengthening domestic chip manufacturing passed the House Thursday, sending the proposal to President Biden’s desk.
Meanwhile, the U.S. and Ukraine expanded cyber cooperation with an agreement that includes a commitment to share more information and conduct training sessions together.
This is Hillicon Valley, detailing all you need to know about tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. Send tips to The Hill’s Rebecca Klar and Ines Kagubare. Someone forward you this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Chips bill passes House, heads to Biden’s desk
The House on Thursday passed a $280 billion bill to strengthen the domestic chip manufacturing industry and finance scientific research in a bid to boost the United States’s competitiveness on the global stage, sending the measure to President Biden’s desk for final approval.
The legislation, titled the CHIPS and Science Act, cleared the House in a 243-187-1 vote. Twenty-four Republicans supported the measure, and one Democrat voted “present.”
- The Senate approved the measure in a bipartisan 64-33 vote on Wednesday. It received support from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
- The bill’s passage through both chambers marks a significant congressional achievement and the culmination of more than a year of negotiations over legislation to increase the U.S.’s competitive edge against China.
- The House and the Senate initially each passed their own China competition bills, referred to as America COMPETES and USICA, respectively, but conference negotiations between the two chambers had stalled for weeks.
Lawmakers ultimately came to a consensus on the CHIPS and Science Act, which will allocate $54 billion for chips and public wireless supply chain innovation, including $39 billion that will go toward financial assistance to build, expand and modernize semiconductor facilities in the U.S. It also includes $11 billion for research and development by the Department of Commerce.
US, Ukraine expands cyber cooperation
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) signed an agreement Wednesday with Ukraine’s cybersecurity agency to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in cyberspace, including the commitment to share more information and conduct training sessions together.
CISA signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Ukrainian State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP) amid the eastern European country’s ongoing war with Russia, an aggressor in the digital realm that has attacked both Ukrainian and American cyber networks and infrastructure in the past.
The cooperation pact bolsters information sharing on cyber incidents and creates pathways between the two agencies to share key data on critical infrastructure. It also authorizes joint exercises and training sessions between the two agencies.
CISA Director Jen Easterly said in a statement Wednesday she was “incredibly pleased” to sign the pact with Ukraine.
HOUSES PASSES CYBER ENERGY BILL
The House passed bipartisan legislation on Wednesday that would address the rise of cyber threats against energy infrastructure in the United States.
The Energy Cybersecurity University Leadership Program Act, a bill co-sponsored by Reps. Deborah Ross (D-N.C.) and Mike Carey (R-Ohio), was part of a block of bills that passed in a 336-90 vote.
The bill would establish a grant program based at the Department of Energy to financially assist graduate students and postdoctoral researchers studying cybersecurity and energy infrastructure.
“The United States has witnessed an alarming rise in cybersecurity threats and attacks against our energy infrastructure, including in my home state of North Carolina,” Ross said in a statement.
META REVENUE DROPS TO $28B
Meta Platforms met expectations but saw its total revenues fall in the second quarter amid a downturn in the economy and increased competition for digital advertisers.
Total revenue for Meta was $28.8 billion in the quarter ending June 30, according to the earnings report released Wednesday, down 1 percent from the second quarter in 2021.
The company also reported total costs and expenses of $20.4 billion, a 22 percent increase year over year.
Meta expects even lower revenue in the third quarter of the year and is forecasting total costs for 2022 to reach up to $88 billion.
Meta Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said during an earnings call that the company was struggling to increase digital advertising revenue amid wider economic uncertainties in the U.S. and competition with other social media platforms and online spaces.
BITS & PIECES
An op-ed to chew on: Biden’s looming winter of war — and discontent
Lighter click: aptly named
Notable links from around the web:
- No quick fix: How OpenAI’s DALLE-E 2 illustrated the challenges of bias in AI (NBC News / Jake Traylor)
- Why Apple can’t quit China (CNN / Rishi Iyengar)
- The CHIPS Act won’t solve the chip shortage (Vox / Rebecca Heilweil)
One more thing
Conservative cable channel Newsmax has signed a new multiyear agreement with distributor Verizon, the two parties announced on Wednesday.
The new agreement will retain Newsmax’s broad distribution on the Verizon platform, which the company claimed reaches 3.5 million subscribers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
“Verizon has carried Newsmax for many years, and we are delighted to be extending our distribution through the Fios platform,” said Christopher Ruddy, CEO of Newsmax Media. “We have found them to be outstanding partners who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the presentation of diverse, independent voices through their programming. We’re glad that we are continuing with this new agreement.”