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Chips, Biden’s Saudi trip, Jan. 6 hearings: 3 things to watch in D.C. this week

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Yahoo Finance Contributor Kevin Cirilli joins the Live show to report on the latest happenings in politics this week.

Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

- To Capitol Hill now where Congress is looking to take action on the $52 billion incentive package for the semiconductor industry. They're trying to boost chip production in the United States. Numerous chip manufacturers await the bill's passage to fund expansion efforts. I spoke to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on the timeline for this getting to the president's desk.

GINA RAIMONDO: You know they have the sense of urgency, you feel that they are coalescing around getting it done, getting it done soon, focusing on the chip's component first, passing that first and letting the conference continue. So there'll be many twists and turns and ups and downs. I promise you that.

I'm willing to say two things. Number one, it's going to get to the president's desk this summer. Number two, there'll be a lot of ups and downs between now and when it does.

- And our contributor Kevin Cirilli is joining us now. Kevin, she really framed this actually as an issue of patriotism as well for members of Congress in saying that this thing is going to get through.

KEVIN CIRILLI: Chips are the new oil, Julie. I mean, that was a great interview. And last week I spoke with Senator Mark Warner, he's the Democrat from Virginia, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which Secretary Raimondo briefed last week on Capitol Hill, drawing on that patriotism theme but also national security, saying that this is a national security imperative in order for the United States to protect itself, not just economically from the Communist Party of China, but also from a security standpoint. I asked him point blank whether or not he thinks this legislation is going to get through. Take a listen to what he told me.

MARK WARNER: China's putting $150 billion into these kind of investments. To answer your question specifically, will we get it done? Yes. We need to get it done and get it to the president's desk before August comes because if not-- a lot of these decisions by American and other companies-- they're going to build elsewhere.

KEVIN CIRILLI: And you saw the ramifications of companies like Intel, for example, where CEO Pat Gelsinger tweeting out essentially a dare almost and saying that they're ready to go on building a plant in Ohio, but they need Congress to pass this bill-- $52 billion worth, likely a vote coming tomorrow.

- And, Kevin, you're also watching the president's trip to Saudi Arabia. He's back today. It ended with not a whole lot actually.

KEVIN CIRILLI: Well, exactly. Everyone's talking about this fist bump where he, of course, fist bumped the Saudi Crown Prince MBS. But, look, I think what that illustration says-- it drew a lot of criticism because, of course, of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The publisher of "The Washington Post" Fred Ryan writing an op-ed in "The Washington Post" and saying that it undermines America's moral authority on the issue. But that aside, there was another development, President Biden saying, before coming back to the US, that he wanted the press to focus on something that matters. Well, something that didn't come up was a win on energy for President Biden and his administration. They did not discuss energy prices or oil production and Brent crude is up 2.6% this morning as a result.

- Meanwhile, Kevin, you're also watching the January 6 hearings.

KEVIN CIRILLI: Yes, this Thursday, call it the grand finale of the summer show-- episode showdown of the January 6 Committee hearings. It's going to be, again, in primetime, 8:00 PM Eastern Time. We're still awaiting to know who will exactly testify on those hearings, but no doubt this has been something that has captured the attention, not just of the United States, but around the world. And has put a lot of pressure about whether former President Trump acted illegally at all in the lead up and during January 6.

- We will see what happens as a result of those hearings. Kevin Cirilli-- good to see you, have a great week-- Yahoo Finance contributor and Atlantic Council Media Fellow. Thanks, Kevin.