January 29, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 29


January 27, 2023

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Recent Developments on Bipartisan Innovation Act – Formal Conference Imminent but Prospect Remains Uncertain

Last week, the Senate made significant procedural headway, in coordination with the House, to advance into a formal conference on the “Bipartisan Innovation Act” (BIA), merging the House-passed America COMPETES Act with the Senate-passed United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA). This development occurred after weeks of pre-conferencing discussions by staff among some of the committees of jurisdiction. This week, the Senate will vote on an agreed list of (non-binding) Motions to Instruct conferees and formally name conferees to the committee.  After weeks of back and forth – and nearly a year since USICA was passed – the two chambers are finally close to formally launching negotiations on a compromise bill.

Timing on completion of the conference and final passage remains uncertain. Originally, Commerce Secretary Raimondo said that a final bill had to get to the President’s desk by May. But, after that became unlikely, some congressional leaders expressed hope that the bill would get to the President by Memorial Day. However, now even that estimate looks overly optimistic. Most agree that, if a conference does close, it has to get done by the end of the summer, before lawmakers turn their attention to the November midterm congressional elections.

Congressional staff indicate closing conference on the BIA – even by the end of the summer – will be a Herculean lift.

We agree. If the bill is not finalized by the end of August recess, congressional leaders may move only the pieces with the most bipartisan support (e.g., the restructuring National Science Foundation programs, funding semiconductor incentives, and some pieces of the trade title), and move some of more the other more controversial elements in some unrelated must-pass legislative vehicle, most likely the annual defense authorization act or Senator Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) new proposal, the “Economic Statecraft for the 21st Century Act.”

Thus, while conference negotiations on the BIA are expected to get underway soon, there are still a lot of moving parts associated with a bill of notable complexity that makes forecasting its prospects success challenging at this point. We are closely monitoring the conference negotiations. 

© Copyright 2023 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 123

About this Author

Pablo Carrillo Government Policies Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Law Firm
Of Counsel

Pablo E. Carrillo served as Chief of Staff to US Senator John McCain, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee and former US presidential candidate. He was responsible for the development and implementation of the Senator’s legislative and congressional oversight strategy.

Pablo also served as Minority General Counsel of the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he advised the Ranking Member and other Republican Senators on the defense authorization bill and the Minority’s oversight and investigative activities, as well as defense acquisition and contracting policy. He was the...

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Ludmilla Kasulke Trade Attorney Squire Patton Boggs Washington DC
Senior Associate

Ludmilla (Milla) Kasulke draws on her experience in both domestic and international policy to assist clients on trade matters. Milla provides multinational corporations, sovereign governments and entities, and quasi-government entities with advice on a wide range of trade policy, legal, and regulatory issues. She has been actively engaged in all aspects of the Section 232 process, including the exclusion petition process, and regularly advises clients on the impacts of current and potential new actions. Milla also regularly counsels clients on the impacts of current and potential new trade...