Top Democrats, White House Celebrate CHIPS Act Anniversary
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A 2022 law key to the Biden White House’s “Build Back Better” economic agenda is helping with freight supply chain connectivity, senior congressional Democrats said recently.
To mark the anniversary of the CHIPS and Science Act, the leaders of the freight committees on Capitol Hill pointed to the law’s potential long-term benefits for the commercial transportation industry. By paving the way for enhancements in domestic computer chip manufacturing, the law directly assists with the production of commercial transportation vehicles and equipment.
“Over the last year, the landmark CHIPS and Science Act seeded a resurgence of American manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship. More than $230 billion invested in domestic semiconductor manufacturing is creating thousands of good-paying jobs,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) on Aug. 9. She is the chairwoman of the Commerce Committee on freight policy.
The senator added, “But our nation is facing a shortage of skilled workers to meet this demand — a gap of 60,000 [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] workers by 2026 in the state of Washington alone — so we must also invest in education, apprenticeships and training programs.”
“The law’s transformational investment will create new economic opportunities, expand the middle class and lower costs for consumers,” said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “It will strengthen America’s competitiveness and help end our reliance on other countries for semiconductors, which are key components in consumer goods, including cars, electronics and home appliances, as well as defense systems.”
“Over the last year,” Pallone continued, “the CHIPS and Science Act has helped spur over $166 billion of private sector investment into semiconductor development and fabrication.”
Per the law, more than 50 major semiconductor projects have been announced. Also, in the coming months, the Department of Commerce will begin accepting applications for programs associated with the National Science Foundation Regional Innovation Engines and technology hubs.
Senior department officials explained the law would continue to assist with enhancing domestic manufacturing, supply chain connectivity and infrastructure security. “We’ve made huge strides over the past year in implementing the program and amassing private sector interest and enthusiasm,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said, pointing to ongoing investments in research and development, science and technology and workforce programs.
“President [Joe] Biden has done more than any other president to revitalize American manufacturing and innovation. Under his leadership, we’re ensuring that America secures its role as a technological superpower for decades to come,” she added.
The White House included the CHIPS law as part of its so-called Bidenomics, a rebranding of its “Build Back Better” portfolio. This summer, the Biden administration has amplified recent laws it claims provide immediate economic assistance to constituents. Another notable law is the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. “These investments are creating jobs and opportunities in communities across the country — from Ohio to Arizona, Texas and New York. And, in the last year alone, at least 50 community colleges have announced new or expanded programs to help American workers access good-paying jobs in the semiconductor industry,” Biden said Aug. 9.
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“The CHIPS and Science Act is a key part of my ‘Bidenomics’ agenda to bring investment and opportunity to every corner of the country,” the president added. “Over the coming months, my administration will continue to implement this historic law, make sure American union workers, small businesses and families benefit from investments spurred by the CHIPS and Science Act, and make America once again a leader in semiconductor manufacturing and less dependent on other countries for our electronics or clean energy supply chains.”
“As indispensable as semiconductors are today, they will become even more important in the future,” Vice President Kamala Harris said earlier this year. “Across America, scientists and entrepreneurs are working to develop technology that will transform our world; more efficient solar panels and wind turbines that will dramatically reduce the cost of electricity and help us fight the climate crisis; satellite networks that will allow us to deliver high-speed internet to every corner of the globe.”
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