WASHINGTON (WCMH) – President Joe Biden has put pen to paper Tuesday, making Intel’s most wanted legislation become law before the company makes the jump into Ohio.
The CHIPS and Science Act, which has made the rounds in both the U.S. House and Senate since 2021, finally cleared both chambers of Congress at the end of July. The president announced shortly afterward that he intended to sign the bill into law in the White House’s Rose Garden, and followed through at 10:57 a.m.
Biden was accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as he walked out for a gathering to sign the multibillion-dollar package. The president took to the podium following comments from his colleagues from Congress.
The president said the backbone of the U.S. economy was “hollowed out” when semiconductor manufacturing was outsourced to other countries, and getting back a bigger share of global production of the chips was the answer forward.
“Today is a day for builders,” Biden said. “We are better positioned than any other nation in the world to win the economic competition of the 21st century … We need to make these chips here in America to bring down everyday costs and create jobs.
You can watch the full replay of the signing in the video player below.
CHIPS in its current form provides $52 billion in incentives and tax credits for semiconductor chip makers like Intel. The silicon giant already planned to spend around $20 billion to build a semiconductor fabrication plant in New Albany, but would get an additional funding boost from CHIPS.
The legislation has been cited by Intel as the one thing it needed before it would commit to “put shovels in the ground,” as CEO Pat Gelsinger said. The company has yet to set a new date for its groundbreaking ceremony in New Albany, but has given every indication that a new date would be set after the president’s signature dried.
While Gelsinger was in attendance for the president’s signing, he did not share a new groundbreaking date for his company’s newest plant in comments afterward. However, he did express optimism toward working with the U.S. Department of Commerce on making use of the incentive for Intel projects.
“We are thrilled to see funding for the CHIPS Act enacted into law,” Gelsinger said. “We are doing our part and the federal government has now done their part. Thanks to President Biden, Secretary [Gina] Raimondo, bipartisan leaders in Congress and everybody involved in supporting the semiconductor industry.”
Biden also indicated he was aware of a timeline for that cooperation.
“Intel, the CEO is here today, Pat Gelsinger. He’s going to break ground on the next generation of semiconductor factories in central Ohio early this fall,” Biden said.
Several Ohio politicians, including Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, have voiced support for the CHIPS Act since Intel announced it was bringing a new semiconductor fabrication plant to Ohio.
“When you build these things, it’s going to be the gift that will keep on giving to Ohio for generations,” Husted told NBC4. “What Ohio has to prove is that we can build the supply chain that is second to none in the world and if we do that, we will win more and more investment, more and more companies will come here. That’s why building out this whole ecosystem from a workforce point of view is critical to our success.”
Husted added the CHIPS Act could aid Intel and its plans, but also Ohio’s economy as a whole, attracting other businesses and more jobs.
“That may mean construction trade jobs, it could mean truck drivers, it can mean engineering technicians,” Husted said. “It’s so many aspects of the economy.”
While there is still some time before the plant goes up, some people in central Ohio are already feeling the impact.
“We were made aware pretty quickly that our home value is going to be rising pretty exponentially over the next couple years because of Intel,” said New Albany resident Chris Blum.
He and his wife Megan Blum say they see both gains and losses of what could happen to the area. Megan said she is excited for the economic boost Intel will bring, but worried about friends who own farmland.
“So they know it’s just a matter of time that they won’t be able to afford the taxes there anymore and they even said like we’ll eventually have to sell, and we’ll move and we’ll never come back,” Megan said.
Still, Chris and his wife said they’ve stayed in Ohio because it’s a great place to raise a family, and they see future opportunities.
“To know that there are more high-level jobs I mean, especially for our little Lucy here who is a little scientist, to know that there are opportunities for her to stay here set down roots and kind of the legacy that we’ve started here,” Chris said.