CHIPS and Science Act passes in House, Senate

July 29, 2022

Originally published in Oswego County News Now on July 29, 2022.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The CHIPS and Science Act, a bold investment in the domestic semiconductor industry, will head to President Joe Biden’s desk after a decisive Thursday vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected officials representing Oswego in Washington and local leaders have deemed the bill a transformative piece of legislation for New York and Oswego County.

The bill secures more than $52 billion in federal funding to promote domestic production of computer chips and has been touted by Capitol Hill lawmakers as a shot in the arm for American manufacturing on the global stage. Part of that investment includes funding for research and development, as well as workforce development.

The bill passed 243-187, with no Democrats voting against the bill. U.S. Rep. John Katko, R-NY-24, was one of 24 Republicans who voted in favor of the legislation, despite a late GOP push to oppose the bill.

“The (bill) represents not only a once-in-a-generation investment in American manufacturing, but a significant step in addressing existential threats to our national security,” Katko said in a statement.

The Camillus Republican pushed to include a provision that secures a 25 percent tax credit for advanced chip manufacturing in the United States.

“This legislation sends a clear message that the best days of American manufacturing are still ahead of us, and I am excited by the strong potential that funding and tax incentives provided under this bill will jumpstart transformational investment in central New York,” Katko said Thursday.

The bill passed the U.S. Senate Wednesday in a 64-33 vote with support from 17 Republicans.

U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-NY, said at the time the bill may help rein in American “overreliance” on semiconductors produced by foreign companies.

“This bill will strengthen our national security, create good-paying jobs and pave the way for continued U.S. leadership in  semiconductor technology, design and fabrication,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

Earlier in President’s Biden term, Gillibrand — along with a bipartisan delegation of New York representatives on Capitol Hill that included U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Shumer and Katko — called on Biden to invest in U.S. semiconductor production.

Officials asserted the importance of the bill in bolstering competition with other countries. Currently, the U.S. makes few of the most advanced types of semiconductors, which are largely produced in Taiwan, according to a report from NBC News.

At the state level, State Sen. John Mannion, D-Geddes, said the bill moves the region closer to securing a coveted computer chip manufacturer. Mannion will run for the newly redrawn 50th State Senate district, which includes Oswego County and northern Onondaga County.

“From our workforce and schools to our infrastructure, airport, and quality of life, central New York is ready for this generational opportunity and the thousands of quality jobs it will bring,” Mannion said.

Education leaders at the state level called the passage of the bill a watershed moment for the United States’ economy and competitiveness on the global stage.”

“This funding will bolster groundbreaking research happening at SUNY and our fellow institutions of higher education. It will also improve the U.S. development pipeline so better, faster, and smarter technology is deployed more quickly, and lay the foundation for an exceptional workforce of tomorrow,” Interim SUNY Chancellor Deborah Stanley said in a Thursday statement.

Stanley, the former president at SUNY Oswego, said the investments found in the bill reinforce the idea that New York will be at the forefront of a potential semiconductor resurgence in America.

“SUNY has the infrastructure and expertise at the ready to unleash our research enterprise and train the next generation of workers,” she said.