US Senate passes bill to combat China’s growing economic influence

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — The US Senate has passed rare bipartisan legislation aimed at countering China’s growing influence by investing more than $200 billion in US technology, science and research.

The final vote, Tuesday evening, was 68 to 32, with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders the only Democrat to vote against the bill. And 19 Republican senators joined the Democrats who voted to pass it.

The decision is seen as a victory for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat who co-authored and staunchly supported the legislation.

Schumer said the sweeping legislation, called the US Innovation and Competition Act, aims to counter China’s influence on multiple fronts and “will enhance American innovation and preserve our competitive advantage for future generations.”

The bill has yet to pass the House of Representatives before it reaches Biden’s office. House Foreign Affairs Chairman Gregory Meeks introduced a similar bill in the House last month, but it is unclear when it will be voted on.

The final vote on the competition bill was postponed until after the Memorial Day recess to accommodate Republican critics of the bill, who insisted on having more time to voice their concerns.

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