Rep. Blake Moore defends ‘nay’ vote on ‘CHIPS+ Act’

FILE PHOTO: semiconducter chips. Photo by Vishnu Mohanan on Unsplash

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law on Tuesday morning.

“Today, I signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act,” Biden said at a Rose Garden singing ceremony, “a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself.”

Biden called the measure, more commonly known as the CHIPS+ Act “… a law that every American can be proud of.”

The legislation aims to improve competition with China by strengthening U.S. manufacturing, supply chains and national security. The new law will also invest in research and development, science and technology.

U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) is defending his ‘nay’ on the so-called ‘CHIPS+ Act’ in late July. That legislation was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Aug. 9.

U.S. Rep. Blake Moore says that he supports all those goals, but still voted against the CHIPS+ Act back in late July.

“I agree that we must counter the serious threat posed by China and shore up our semi-conductor industry,” Moore says.

“If the Senate and the House could negotiate transparently in good faith, I would support a package to incentivize semi-conductor investment and research and development. But guessing games and … these secret, closed door spending deals do no favors for Utah families struggling to pay for everyday expenses from gas to groceries.”

Moore was referring to the Inflation Reduction Act, which was announced in the Senate just prior to the House vote on the CHIPS+ Act.

That spending measure – with costs estimated at $740 billion – was the result of a late July back-room deal between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to revive the president’s stalled domestic agenda.

The so-called IRA Bill passed the Senate without a single Republic vote on Sunday and is expected to pass the House later this week.

“I voted no on the … CHIPS+ Act,” Moore acknowledged, defending his action.

“This $250 billion package adds $60 billion to our federal mandatory spending at a time when we need to be reducing mandatory spending. As House Republicans look for way to reverse our historic debt-to-Gross Domestic Product ratio and uncontrollable inflation, I simply could not support another spending measure …”

The CHIPS+ Act originated in the Senate, where it received broad bipartisan support.

The measure passed on the Senate floor on July 27 by a 64 to 33 vote, with 17 Republicans crossing party lines to vote for the measure. In the House, the measure passed by 243 to 187 on July 28.

The CHIPS+ Act allocates $52 billion for semi-conductor research, development, manufacturing and workforce incentive here in the U.S.

It also makes additional billions in tax credits available for investments in chip manufacturing.

The CHIPS+ Act earmarks another $10 billion for investments in regional innovation and technology hubs across the county and expands investments in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and training.

As a member of the China legislation conference committee, Moore said that he and colleagues were working to hammer out a deal on semi-conductors investment when they were called to the House floor vote on the Chips+ Act.

Moore said that he and other committee members were making progress on guardrails that would prevent U.S. companies from using incentives funded by American taxpayers on manufacturing operations in China. The committee was also working toward inserting strong intellectual property safeguards into law and securing American supply chains.

“I was disappointed that our negotiations were cut short,” he says.

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