A bipartisan group of 147 senators and House members have signed onto a letter to leadership in both chambers calling for quick action to approve the Creating Helpful Incentives for the Production of Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act, which would provide $52 billion in funding to help revitalize U.S.-based semiconductor manufacturing.
The CHIPS Act is contained in separate bills – the America COMPETES Act in the House and the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) measure in the Senate. Each chamber has approved their bill, but the two need to be joined through a House-Senate conference committee. There has been little visible evidence of that conference process since the House passed the COMPETES in early February. President Biden called on both chambers to get to work on the reconciliation process in his March 1 State of the Union address.
Leading the effort on the March 8 letter to House and Senate leaders are Reps. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., and Michael McCaul, R-Texas; and Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.
“[…] we write today to urge you to preserve the full $52 billion included in USICA during the conference process to implement the CHIPS Act. Securing this funding as soon as possible will help address severe shortages in the semiconductor supply chain and reestablish American leadership in global semiconductor manufacturing,” wrote the lawmakers.
They said the CHIPS Act would “restore semiconductor manufacturing back to American soil by increasing Federal incentives to stimulate advanced chip manufacturing, enabling cutting-edge research and development – securing the supply chain, and bringing greater transparency to the microelectronics ecosystem.”
The CHIPS Act was approved as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, but funding the measure is a separate matter that needs further congressional approval.
“The funding and structural reforms included in CHIPS will create a more resilient domestic semiconductor supply chain which will help prevent future shortages that cause GDP drag, job losses, more expensive consumer goods, and national security vulnerabilities,” the lawmakers wrote.