President to Sign CHIPS and Science Act Bill Next Tuesday
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will sign the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 into law next Tuesday in a Rose Garden ceremony, the White House has announced.
Supporters of H.R. 4346 touted the legislation as a vehicle for lowering the cost of everyday goods, strengthening American manufacturing and innovation, creating good-paying jobs, and bolstering the nation’s economic and national security by making the U.S. less dependent on foreign sources of semiconductors.
Its passage last week also marked a significant win for the president, who had campaigned in part on his ability to reach across the aisle and get the legislation done.
“The CHIPS and Science Act is exactly what we need to be doing to grow our economy right now,” Biden said after the vote on the bill.
“This bill includes important guardrails to ensure that companies receiving tax payer dollars invest in America and that union workers are building new manufacturing plants across the country,” the president continued.
“I look forward to signing this bill into law and continuing to grow our economy from the bottom up and middle out for working families all across the country,” he added.
The bill includes more than $52 billion for U.S. companies producing computer chips, as well as billions more in tax credits to encourage investment in chip manufacturing.
It also provides tens of billions of dollars to fund scientific research and development, and to spur the innovation and development of other U.S. technologies.
The House and Senate passed the bill last week with strong bipartisan support, though the vote in the House was somewhat tempered by Republican unhappiness over the sudden announcement on Wednesday that Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., had reached a deal, in secret, on the unrelated, but highly partisan, reconciliation bill.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had vowed that no vote on the CHIPS bill would occur if the reconciliation bill moved forward. When the latter bill appeared dead, even McConnell himself voted for the semiconductor and science research legislation.
The Manchin-Schumer deal was announced just hours later.
Schumer now hopes to bring the reconciliation bill up for a vote by the end of the week, but uncertainty remains over whether the Democrats have the support of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.
It’s highly unlikely they could pass the bill without her as they’d then need Republican votes in a chamber where the parties are split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tie-breaking vote.
The semiconductor shortage first manifested itself at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing prices to soar for consumer electronics, automobiles, and even health care equipment needed to combat the virus.
Biden also has blamed the chip shortage for the surging inflation that has plagued the administration in the run-up to the midterm elections.
Among those looking forward to the signing of the bill next week is Robbie Diamond, president and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy, a group of prominent military and business leaders who advocate for policies that improve the nation’s energy security.
“Passage of this landmark legislation will help ensure America’s continued global leadership in semiconductor technology, spur domestic chip production, and reduce our dependence on vulnerable overseas supply chains,” Diamond said in a written statement as the House and Senate prepared for their respective votes.
“America created the semiconductor industry as we responded to the Soviet threat during the Cold War, and it remains vital to our national security,” he continued. “Today, while we continue to lead in chip design and many areas, we no longer produce the most advanced chips required to power the technologies of tomorrow such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, 5G, and electric and autonomous vehicles that SAFE has championed to end oil dependence.
“These are produced by our friends and allies in East Asia. This dependence, in light of the threat Beijing poses to the region and to our supply chain, puts our economic and national security at risk. The CHIPS legislation will help put America back at the leading edge of semiconductor manufacturing and reduce this dangerous vulnerability,” he said.
But Diamond also said, it will be after Biden signs the CHIPS and Science Act into law, that the hard work will really begin for the Commerce Department and the semiconductor industry, “who will have to implement this complex and challenging legislation and build new manufacturing capacity.”
Barbara Humpton, president and CEO of Siemens USA, called the bipartisan passage of the CHIPS Act both an “historic investment” and “a major step” toward strengthening the nation’s industrial supply chains and growing America’s global technology leadership for decades to come.
“Semiconductors are vital to U.S. competitiveness and national security, and we’re encouraged that the technology and research enabled by this funding will not only ensure we address chip shortages but will showcase the power advanced manufacturing tools have to create a more resilient, sustainable, and economically competitive industrial base,” she said.
“Siemens has long believed that now is the moment to modernize American manufacturing, and as both a user of semiconductors and a key software and hardware provider for the industry, we’re ready to mobilize behind the momentum this funding provides,” Humpton continued.
“We applaud the steadfast leadership of Congress, the White House, the Department of Commerce and industry leaders who worked together to find a solution that advances American manufacturing priorities and keeps our country competitive,” she said.