Government

Will County members of Congress back bill to better compete with China

Members pushed for provisions to invest in science, technology and the country’s supply chains

bill foster, lauren underwood, adam kinzinger, congress

Members of Congress representing Will County backed a bill aiming to make the U.S. more competitive by investing in science, technology and innovation, especially against China.

The House of Representatives recently passed the America COMPETES Act, which includes provisions offered by local members, according to a news release.

“This is an opportunity to strengthen our STEM workforce, reinforce our national security, enhance our semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, and provide America’s national labs with the resources they need to maintain our world-class scientific infrastructure,” Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, said in a statement.

Foster pushed for provisions to allow international students with degrees in science, technology, engineering or math to remain and work in the country. He also pushed for about $6 billion for maintenance and modernization projects at national laboratories.

The bill includes an amendment from Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, that ensures STEM education is accessible in rural communities through summer and after school programs.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, pushed for provisions to bolster the country’s supply chains.

“The United States must take action to improve competitiveness, secure our supply chains, foster innovation, and confront China and other adversaries,” Kinzinger said in a statement. “Such action is long overdue, and as such, I voted to support the America COMPETES Act.”

The Senate will have to pass the bill for it to become law.