WASHINGTON (WCMH) – The legislation that Intel Corporation said could make or break its investment of billions of dollars in Ohio has cleared one of three major hurdles Wednesday.
The U.S. Senate voted 64-33 to pass the CHIPS and Science Act, or CHIPS-plus, Nexstar’s D.C. Bureau reported. Commonly known as the CHIPS Act, it was added to H.R.4346 as a “legislative vehicle,” according to Senate legislation records.
The next step for the bill, which gives around $52 billion in incentives to semiconductor chip manufacturing firms like Intel to build more U.S. plants, is heading to the House of Representatives. If it passes in the House, it will then go to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
Intel spokeswoman Linda Qian spoke to NBC4 after the legislation’s passage.
“We congratulate the Senate on its vote to fund the CHIPS Act and urge the House to follow suit,” Qian said. “We will move forward together to advance American leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and [research and development], and strengthen American national and economic security.”
Intel had planned to spend $20 billion to build two semiconductor chips fabrication plants in New Albany, hoping to increase the U.S. supply of the silicon parts that are core to all kinds of electronics. However, in June, the company 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.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine also expressed his happiness over the CHIPS Act’s passage and joined Intel in asking the U.S. House to pass the bill too.
“This bipartisan legislation is critically important as we work with Intel to transform Ohio into the best location for semiconductor manufacturing,” DeWine said.
While the CHIPS Act was originally part of two different House and Senate versions of the United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, its newest incarnation — CHIPS-plus — is an adaptation from USICA into the Supreme Court Security Funding Act of 2022. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell previously spoke of legislators cutting the CHIPS Act out of the House variation of the USICA bill to pass it as a standalone piece, though it has now been added to a different piece of legislation.
On Tuesday before CHIPS-plus passed, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer gave comments about the legislation on the Senate floor, calling it “one of the most consequential bipartisan achievements of this Congress.”
“It will make historic investments to scientific research,” Schumer said. “It will take direct aim at our nation’s chips crisis … Last year’s [version of the CHIPS Act] offered tens of billions to encourage American chip manufacturing and [research and development.] This bill does that too, and even more with the Investment Tax Credit provisions. Last year’s bill provided funding to help build wireless communications supply chain to counter Huawei. This bill does too.”