Leahy touts passage of US Innovation Competition Act

Vermont’s senior senator says he will wait until winter to decide whether he will seek another term in office.
Published: Jun. 21, 2021 at 4:11 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy is touting the passage of the U.S. Innovation Competition Act.

It’s aimed at improving competition in the semiconductor business and is on its way to President Biden’s desk.

The global shortage is affecting technology and automotive supply chains.

Leahy says the U.S. has to continue to produce them domestically, including at GlobalFoundries in Essex Junction.

“Existing technology can be threatened by the production of chips moving to foreign countries. This creates an Achilles’ heel to the United States and we can’t do that,” said Leahy, D-Vermont.

At the same time, House and Senate lawmakers are mulling over a multibillion-dollar infrastructure bill. Leahy, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, says negotiations on its size and scope are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Vermont’s senior senator says he will wait until this winter to make a decision of whether he will seek another term in office.

The 81-year-old senator is faced with deciding whether to seek a ninth six-year term in office.

His looming decision has put Vermont politicians and political observers on edge as some are preparing to step forward to succeed him if he retires.

This spring, Leahy revealed his wife, Marcelle, is receiving treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

He says her prognosis is looking better by the day but he says that he’s not even considering whether to run or not until this winter.

He says he’s focused on working in the Senate right now.

“If you’re hampered by worrying on every single board and worrying about every election, you’re not a very effective senator,” Leahy said.

Political observers have floated Rep. Peter Welch, Lt. Gov. Molly Gray and Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint as potential successors to Leahy if he retires.

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