Semiconductor bill unites Sanders, right – in opposition

Washington (AFP) – A bill to promote semiconductor production In the United States it managed to do the almost unthinkable – unite Social Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders and the fiscally conservative right.

The bill makes its way through the Senate he is A top priority for the Biden administration. It would add about $79 billion to the deficit over 10 years, mostly as a result of new grants and tax credits that would subsidize the cost to computer chip manufacturers when building or expanding chip factories in the United States.

Supporters say countries around the world are spending billions of dollars to attract chip makers. The United States must do the same or risk losing safe supplies It is a semiconductor that supplies state vehicles, computers, appliances, and some of the military’s most advanced weapons systems.

Sanders, I-Vt. , and a wide range of conservative lawmakers, think tanks, and the media have a different view. For them, this is the “luxury of the company”. It’s just the latest example of how spending taxpayers’ money to help the private sector can skew usual partisan lines, creating allies on both the left and the right who agree on little else. They present themselves as the defenders of the little man in the face of the powerful interest groups that line up at the public little trough.

Sanders said he doesn’t hear from people about the need to help the semiconductor industry. Voters talk to him about climate change, gun safety, preserving women’s right to abortion, and boosting Social Security benefits, to name a few.

“There aren’t a lot of people I can remember — I’ve been all over this country — say, ‘Bernie, you go back there and get the job done, and you give very profitable companies, who pay outrageous compensation packages to their CEOs,'” Sanders said: “billions and billions of dollars. In corporate sponsorship’.

Sanders voted against the original semiconductor and research bill passed by the Senate last year. He was the only senator to hold partisan meetings with Democrats to oppose the measure, joining 31 Republicans.

While Sanders would like to see spending directed elsewhere, many Republican senators just want to stop spending, period. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, said the spending would help fuel inflation that hurts the poor and the middle class.

“The poorer you are, the greater your suffering. Even well-established people in the middle class are greatly deceived. Why would we want to take money from them and give it to the wealthy is beyond my ability to comprehend?” he told me.

Conservative proponents such as the Wall Street Journal editorial board, the Heritage Foundation and the Tea Party’s FreedomWorks group also opposed the bill. “Giving taxpayer money to rich companies does not compete with China,” said Walter Lohmann, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Asian Studies.

Opposition from the far left and far right means that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DNY, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, will need help from Republicans to get a bill on the finish line. The support of at least 11 Republican senators will be needed to overcome the disruption. A final vote on the bill is expected next week.

Senator Mitt Romney, of Utah, is among potential Republican supporters. When asked about Sanders’ argument against the bill, Romney said that when other countries support high-tech chip manufacturing, the United States should join the club.

“If you don’t play as they do, you won’t be making high-tech chips, which are essential to our national defense as well as our economy,” Romney said.

The most common reason lawmakers give to support the semiconductor industry is the risk to national security from relying on foreign suppliers, particularly after the supply chain problems of the pandemic. Nearly four-fifths of global manufacturing capacity is in Asia, according to Congressional Research Servicebroken down by South Korea with 28%, Taiwan with 22%, Japan 16% and China 12%.

“I hope you don’t have to do that, to be very honest, but France, Germany, Singapore, Japan, all of these other countries are offering incentives for CHIP companies to build there,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said Sunday on CBS. “Facing the Nation”.

We cannot afford to be in this fragile situation. “We need to be able to protect ourselves,” she said.

The window for the law to pass through the House is narrow if some progressives join Sanders and if most Republicans line up in opposition on the basis of financial concerns. The White House says the bill should pass by the end of the month because companies are now making decisions about where to build.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, told members of the Michigan Auto Workers union Friday that she feels “very confident” that the bill will pass in the House.

“Before I walked in here, coming from the airport, I was told we had some important Republican support on the part of the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said. “We appreciate the bipartisan partnership for this law.”

Two major congressional groups, the Problem Solving Group and the New Democratic Alliance, have endorsed the measure in recent days,

The problem-solving conference consists of members from both parties. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, the group’s Republican co-chair, said Intel wants to build its chip-making capacity in the United States, but that much of that capacity will go to Europe if Congress doesn’t approve the bill.

“If a semiconductor bill is thrown to the ground, it will be passed,” Fitzpatrick said.

Representative Derek Kilmer, D-Washington, said he believes the legislation checks too many boxes for his voters, including the inflation issue.

This is about reducing inflation. “If you look at inflation, a third of the inflation in the last quarter was from cars, and that’s because of the lack of chips,” Kilmer said. “So it’s about, first, about making sure we make things in the United States, and second, it’s about cutting costs.”

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