Biden Expected to Sign $280 Billion CHIPS Act; critics say it lacks accountability measures, will exacerbate national debt and inflation

(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden is expected to sign the CHIPS Act, a $280 billion spending bill intended to incentivize US manufacturers to produce semiconductor chips in the US. Critics say the measure will not include accountability requirements for companies that receive taxpayer dollars, increase national debt and 40 years of high inflation, and will not bolster national security.

The bill passed by the US Senate by a vote of 64-33, with 17 Republicans joining Democrats to pass it. It passed in the House by a vote of 243 to 187, with 24 Republicans joining 219 Democrats despite the Republican leadership opposing the bill.

Biden expressed his support, tweeting: “Semiconductor chips are the building blocks of the modern economy – they power our smartphones and cars. And for years production was sent abroad. For the sake of American jobs and our economy, we must make these at home. The CHIPS for America Act will make that happen.”

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill “will target the national shortage of semiconductor chips, lower costs for U.S. consumers and boost scientific innovation and jobs.”

Key provisions of the bill include $52.7 billion in taxpayer-funded subsidies for chip manufacturing in the U.S., a 25% tax credit for semiconductor manufacturing, $1.5 billion earmarked for technology development for U.S. companies that claim depend on foreign telecommunications, $10 billion allocated to the Department of Commerce to develop 20 regional technology hubs, and guidelines to grow the federal government by expanding federal agencies.

The Congressional Budget Office says the bill “allocates approximately $200 billion over the 2022-2031 period, primarily for research activities.”

Part of the bill directs the U.S. Department of Energy to fund research facilities and infrastructure that will cost $5.9 billion. CBO estimates that this will increase direct spending by $3.1 billion over the 2022-2031 period.

Another section authorizes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to enter into enhanced utilization leases through 2032, which will increase direct spending by $80 million over the 2022-2031 period, CBO says.

Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who joined Democrats in voting for the measure, said it “would help kick-start domestic production of these semiconductors in a way that will prevent vulnerability to our supply chain as 90 percent of those advanced semiconductors currently come from Asia.”

He also said: “It could create about 185,000 jobs every year if these new facilities are built. In the long run, it could bring another 280,000 jobs online. Once these foundries are up and running, they will provide American-made semiconductors that are everything from smartphones to cars, planes and missile defense systems can be used.”

The bill also allows the US to “compete with,” “beat” and “innovate” in China, he said.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott also praised the bill’s approval, saying it will help expand manufacturing in Texas, which he says is “a beacon of innovation and the largest exporter of semiconductors and other electronic devices for 11 years in a row.” components of the country.”

But Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who urged his Senate and House colleagues to vote against the bill, says it is a “pro-China” bill that “will weaken America’s position on the world stage.”

With the US now $30 trillion in debt, “spending another $280 billion that we don’t have,” he said, “sets a dangerous precedent for massive, taxpayer-funded corporate welfare for the world’s most profitable companies without any accountability or guarantee of return on investment to the American people.

Worse, the bill lacks basic safeguards and would allow companies to use US tax dollars to build factories in communist China and expand their share of the Chinese semiconductor market.

There is no requirement in the bill for manufacturers to build a certain number of plants in the US, he added, or require them not to outsource US jobs abroad. The bill does not include production requirements for chip quotas for manufacturers and instead “works like a blank check with virtually no accountability measures to protect the huge taxpayer spending it authorizes and with no ROI requirements.”

It doesn’t improve US national security and is instead a “huge spending bill funded by US tax dollars that give corporations and communist China everything they want, while getting American workers and American families little in return,” he said.

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