Obama praises Biden, Congress over chips bill, Manchin deal: ‘Progress’

Former President Obama lauded “a big week for the Biden administration” following the Senate passage of a bill aimed at keeping the U.S. competitive with China and the introduction of a reconciliation bill to combat inflation through action on climate, health and taxes.

“I’m grateful to President Biden and those in Congress – Democrat or Republican – who are working to deliver for the American people,” Obama said Thursday on Twitter.

The bipartisan CHIPS act passed the Senate 64-33 Wednesday. The $280 billion bill now before the House would subsidize domestic semiconductor manufacturing, decreasing U.S. reliance on foreign parts, as well as invest in research programs to keep the country ahead of competitors.

And an agreement between Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) produced The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 aimed at investing in domestic energy and lowing prescription drug costs by closing tax loopholes on wealthy individuals and corporations.

The $670 billion reconciliation bill would invest a little over half in energy security and climate change over the next decade, and the rest in deficit reduction. The proposed legislation promises to cut carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030 and extend the Affordable Care Act through 2025. 

Schumer and Manchin in a joint statement called the bill, if passed, “a historic down payment on deficit reduction to fight inflation.” President Biden has also backed the bill, calling it “the action the American people have been waiting for” in a statement after talks with the two senators.

“Progress doesn’t always happen all at once, but it does happen – and this is what it looks like,” Obama said Thursday.