The Senate’s CHIPS-Plus Bill Spends Far Less – and Returns Far More – than its Opponents Claim

Friday, Jul 22, 2022, 2:54pm

by David Isaacs, Vice President, Government Affairs

The Senate’s CHIPS-Plus legislation includes badly needed incentives for domestic semiconductor manufacturing and investments in U.S. chip research to help strengthen America’s economy, national security, and leadership in critical technologies.

The bill has a total cost of $79.344 billion over 10 years, according to the official scorekeeper for Congress, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). These investments will create hundreds of thousands of American jobs, spur hundreds of billions of dollars in chip company investments in the U.S., and ensure more resilient chip supply chains for key manufacturing industries in the U.S. and for the national security community.

Opponents of CHIPS-Plus inaccurately suggest the bill includes $280 billion in government spending. Here’s why that’s wrong.

This higher number includes the amounts called for in the bill’s aspirational research section, called an “authorization.” Authorizations are not spending. Congressional appropriators will decide in the years to come whether to actually fund the authorizations in the CHIPS-Plus bill. This bill does not fund them and the authorization of these programs has zero impact on spending or the federal deficit.

Further, the authorizations included in the CHIPS-Plus bill are bipartisan. They come from previously introduced bipartisan bills – the Endless Frontier Act in the Senate and the NSF for the Future Act and the DOE Science for the Future Act – that had strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. In fact, more than 130 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for both bills. These are not partisan provisions.

So what is included in the CBO’s tally of $79.344 billion? This primarily comes from chip manufacturing grants, research investments, and an investment tax credit for chip production. As noted above, these investments will return huge benefits to American businesses, workers, and consumers. That’s why semiconductor investments have broad, bipartisan support from policymakers in Washington, state and local leaders, national security experts, business leaders, and two-thirds of American voters from across the political spectrum.

Ignore the distractions. Enacting CHIPS-Plus is critical to America’s future economic strength, national security, and global competitiveness. It’s time to get it across the finish line.