WASHINGTON (WCMH) – Only President Joe Biden’s pen stands in the way of Intel’s most wanted bill for Ohio as of Thursday.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 243-187 to pass the CHIPS and Science Act just one day after its counterpart, the Senate, passed the same legislation. Also known as CHIPS-plus or the CHIPS Act, lawmakers have modified the legislation multiple times since its inception a year ago.
The passage was lauded as good news by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, whose company plans to invest around $20 billion to build a chip fabrication plant on land in Licking County that is being annexed into New Albany.
“This is a critical step to support the entire U.S. semiconductor industry and to help ensure continued American leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and R&D,” Gelsinger said in a statement. “Congress has done its part, and now we are going to do ours. I’m excited to put shovels in the ground as Intel moves full speed ahead to start building in Ohio.”
The CHIPS Act had seen delays and changes all the way to July 2022. It was introduced as a stitch in the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, then stripped out as its own piece of legislation in hopes of finding better bipartisan support, then added to H.R. 4346 acting as an unrelated “legislative vehicle,” as recently as Wednesday. This will be the first time the proposals in the CHIPS Act have cleared Congress to go before the president to sign into law.
Intel, Biden and numerous Ohio politicians have pushed for the passage of CHIPS. The corporation would get a share of another $52 billion to supplement its Ohio project. The bill provides the money in incentives and tax credits for semiconductor manufacturing firms like Intel to build more U.S. facilities in a gamble to compete with international chip makers.
Not only did President and CEO of Ohio Business Roundtable Pat Tiberi say the CHIPS Act will create jobs in central Ohio, but he also said it will attract more companies to the area.
“Next month here in central Ohio, 40 plus suppliers, other business who aren’t located in Ohio, are going to come here to look where they can put their facility to help the Intel supply chain,” Tiberi said.
Gov. Mike DeWine gave a statement after news broke of the bill’s passage.
“This $52 billion investment to domestically produce semiconductor chips on American soil will strengthen our national security, help fuel economic growth, and turn Ohio into a nationwide semiconductor powerhouse,” DeWine said. “As Intel begins construction in Licking County to bring its most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facilities to our state, Ohio is on its way to becoming an indispensable player in the semiconductor industry.”
Republican Congressman Troy Balderson, who represents Ohio’s 12th district, where the Intel plant will be, was one of 24 Republicans to vote in favor of the CHIPS Act — what he called a “once-in-a-lifetime investment in Ohio.”
“As a result of this investment, the future is brighter for kids in Ohio today,” Balderson said in a statement.
Intel spokeswoman Linda Qian previously shared comments from the company when the Senate passed the bill.
“We will move forward together to advance American leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and [research and development], and strengthen American national and economic security,” Qian said.
In June, Intel Corporation announced it would delay the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ohio plant because the CHIPS Act was stalled in Congress. When NBC4 asked if a new groundbreaking ceremony date would be set with CHIPS clearing the Senate, Qian said there was no date as of Wednesday. However, in a confident move, Intel sent construction crews at the beginning of July to begin early work at the New Albany site anyway.