Home CHIPS for America Act passes U.S. House: ‘Major victory’ for tech economy

CHIPS for America Act passes U.S. House: ‘Major victory’ for tech economy

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The U.S. House voted in favor Thursday of getting the United States back into the semiconductor game and back into the global technology competition.

The Creating Helping Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act, originally introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas in June 2020, will strengthen the U.S.’s research, development and production of semiconductors. In 2022, the U.S. produces only 12 percent of the world’s chips. In 1990, 37 percent of semiconductors were produced in the U.S.

“I first began sounding the alarm about the need to reduce our reliance on other nations and safeguard our national security by bringing semiconductor production back to the U.S. more than two years ago,” Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said in a press release in response to the bill’s passage of the House. “Since then, we’ve seen the consequences of semiconductor shortages all the way up the supply chain and down to consumers, who have faced rising costs on a variety of goods both large and small.”

Warner, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said the bipartisan bill will “lower costs for families, strengthen our national security, and create good-paying manufacturing jobs here in the United States. I am glad that after years of unnecessary delay, it is finally being sent to the President’s desk.”

U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger calls the legislation, which would provide $52 billion in funding, “a victory for Virginia’s economy, Virginia’s workforce and Virginia’s future,” according to a press release. CHIPS for America would also offer tax credits to companies for investments in domestic manufacturing facilities.

“By investing in domestic semiconductor production and boosting homegrown innovation, we are leveling the playing field for American companies, including those currently in Virginia and those looking to relocate to our Commonwealth,” Spanberger said in the press release. “Additionally, we are preventing future shortages of semiconductors, microchips and the many consumer goods they power — from cars and tractors to cell phones and dishwashers.”

Spanberger said she is “proud to vote to protect our national security in the face of increased competition and threats from the Chinese Communist Party. It is imperative that we win this competition, demonstrate our global leadership, and show the world the true dominance of American technology in the 21st century.”

Warner and Spanberger earlier this year led efforts to call on the U.S. Department of Commerce to consider Virginia for future locations of major semiconductor production and research facilities made possible through investments in the CHIPS Act.

Congressmen A. Donald McEachin of Virginia also voted in support of CHIPS for America on July 28.

“The CHIPS and Science Act is a major victory for Virginian families and our Commonwealth’s economy,” McEachin said in a press release. “This crucial legislation will help lower costs for American families, reduce supply chain disruptions, strengthen our national security, and promote manufacturing here in the United States. It will create thousands of good-paying union jobs, promote research investments in local communities, and broaden Virginia’s STEM workforce. I am proud to help advance this legislation to turbocharge our economy and cut costs for working families.”

According to the press release, the legislation passed the Senate with 14 Republicans voting in favor. However, after news that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Manchin brokered an agreement on a reconciliation package, “House Republican leadership immediately began whipping votes against the bipartisan CHIPS legislation.”

“Republicans’ sudden opposition to this previously bipartisan legislation amounts to nothing more than a temper tantrum. Their actions today make it clear that they are incapable of putting our nation or the American people above partisan politics,” McEachin said in the press release“This is non-controversial legislation that aims to keep America at the forefront of technological advancement and scientific innovation. It will help stimulate our local economies and bring manufacturing back to America; despite that, the majority of Republicans banded together in an embarrassing display of partisanship.”

U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria voted in favor of CHIPS for America.

“This legislation will bring manufacturing back to America and end the current shortage of chips, resulting in lower cost and good paying jobs for Coastal Virginians,” Luria said in a press release. “I am proud to support this bill to end our dependence on foreign manufacturers and strengthen our national security, and I look forward to it becoming law.”

Republican Congressman Morgan Griffith of Virginia voted against CHIPS for America.

“I want the United States to compete and win against China in the global economy and support efforts that would enhance our country’s position. The CHIPS-Plus bill that the Senate sent to the House does not do so,” Griffith said in a press release. “If the bill simply supported domestic production of semiconductors, I would have looked at it favorably. Instead, the bill was loaded with extra spending and bad policies that would not benefit American economic performance.”

CHIPS for America “doles out more money for the National Science Foundation than for semiconductors. In fact, it doubles the amount authorized for spending on the National Science Foundation.”

“Our country now confronts economic difficulties that highlight the need for targeted and effective legislation. CHIPS-Plus fails to meet this standard,” Griffith said.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.