Chinese and American flags flutter near the Bund, before the U.S. business delegation meets its Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

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WASHINGTON, May 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate decided on Wednesday to begin formal legislative talks on a long-stalled bill to pay $52 billion in subsidies for semiconductor chip manufacturing and boost competitiveness of the United States with China.

The Senate voted on more than two dozen motions covering a range of issues, including Iran policy. While the motions aren’t binding, they give some idea of ​​what senators would like to see in the final bill and what might prevent it from getting enough votes to become law.

House and Senate lawmakers will now begin formal negotiations through a process known as a conference committee to craft a bill that can be passed by both houses. The talks could last for months, according to congressional aides.

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With Democrats narrowly controlling the House of Representatives and Senate, Republicans have used some motions to weigh in on President Joe Biden’s efforts to return to the international nuclear deal with Iran and win approval with support from some democrats.

Republicans unanimously opposed the 2015 nuclear deal.

Late Wednesday, the Senate wrapped up action on more than two dozen “motions of instruction.”

Senators voted 78 to 17 against a proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders that sought to remove language that would authorize the $10 billion development of a new lunar lander for NASA, a move seen as part of the senator’s efforts to cut federal funds that could go to billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

Senators voted 62 to 33 in favor of another motion that seeks to block the Biden administration from lifting the terrorist designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, an obstacle to reviving the nuclear pact.

The Senate also voted 86 to 12 on a motion saying terrorism-related sanctions against Iran are necessary to limit cooperation between China and Iran.

Such provisions could complicate delicate negotiations over the nuclear deal, although Western officials largely lost hope that the pact could be revived after then-Republican President Donald Trump abandoned it in 2018. . read more

They could also make it harder to pass China’s chips and competition bill, which has been making its way through Congress for nearly a year.

Another Republican-sponsored motion was approved in a 49-47 vote that would seek to ban President Joe Biden from using climate change to declare an emergency to expand executive branch powers.

The Senate first passed a version of the semiconductor chip and Chinese competition bill in June, with strong bipartisan support. The $250 billion bill was hailed as potentially the biggest government intervention in manufacturing in decades, but stalled in the House. Read more

The House passed a version in February 2022 that provided funding for $52 billion in chips, but significant differences on other provisions. Read more

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Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, additional reporting by David Shepardson; edited by David Gregorio and Gerry Doyle

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