US President Joe Biden met with executives of chip makers including Samsung Electronics, Micron Technology and other companies on Wednesday as part of an effort to push the US Congress to fund US$52 billion in grants to chip makers to ease the semiconductor crunch. Biden, along with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, hosted the event with Siyoung Choi, president of Samsung’s Device Division, joining remotely, and Sanjay Mehrota, president and chief executive of Micron, to highlight the need for speedy action to increase the supply of scarce chips. Legislation on the issue has been stalled in Congress, although a Senate aide told Reuters on Wednesday that Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell, the leader of Senate Republicans, are negotiating a process to begin a conference on the bill during this work period. China’s semiconductor imports fall for first time in two years “Today I’m urging the House and the Senate to work out the differences between … the two version of this bill. Get it to my desk as quickly as you can,” Biden said on Wednesday. The House of Representatives on February 4 narrowly passed a bill aimed at increasing American competitiveness with China in part by allocating US$52 billion to boost US semiconductor manufacturing. In June, the Senate voted 68-32 to pass its own bill, which includes US$52 billion for chips and authorises US$190 billion for US technology and research to compete with China. The funding includes US$2 billion to incentivise production of “mature node” semiconductors used by the auto industry and in medical devices, agricultural machinery and some national defence applications. A persistent industrywide shortage of chips has disrupted production in the automotive and electronics industries, forcing some firms to scale back production. But progress has been scant towards hashing out differences in the two pieces of legislation. A bipartisan group of more than 140 US lawmakers on Tuesday urged leaders in Congress to move forward on the funding. Other participants in Wednesday’s meeting included governors Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, as well as White House economic adviser Brian Deese. Executives from Whirlpool, HP, Medtronic and Cummins also took part.