House Republicans fail to put a stop to Senate semiconductor bill

A late push by Republican leadership to stop the passage of the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act has failed.

ABC News reports that 24 House Republicans voted with their Democratic colleagues to pass the CHIPS Act last week. 

The final vote tally was 243 in favor to 187 against. In other words, it wasn’t really that close.

The CHIPS Act

It is a whopping $280 billion bill that appears to have as its overall goal the boosting of domestic semiconductor chip manufacturing. At least, that’s what its name suggests. But, at $280 billion, you could probably guess that the bill encompasses more than just that.

The bulk of the bill – $1.5 billion – is going to incentivize mobile broadband development. The next largest chunk – $80 billion – is going to universities through the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Then, $52 billion is to provide financial incentives to the semiconductor industry, and $50 billion is going to research at the Department of Energy (DOE).

GOP v. GOP

The CHIPS Act has produced much disagreement among Republicans.

Those Republicans who support the bill claim that it would help the U.S. to combat the likes of communist China in the semiconductor production industry, which, in turn, would help to secure the U.S.’s national security.

Those Republicans who oppose the bill, however, do so on the grounds that it is a corporate welfare-type bill that is fiscally irresponsible, going far beyond what is necessary to boost domestic semiconductor chip production.

The GOP fails to stop the bill – twice

The Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), were hoping to use the CHIPS Act as leverage to stop the Democrats from passing the so-called Manchin-Schumer reconciliation bill. McConnell’s effort, however, failed as Senate Republicans gave their Democrat colleagues enough votes to pass the CHIPS Act.

That’s how the bill ended up in the House. There, Republican leadership decided to make a last-minute attempt to stop the bill from being passed. But, this attempt also failed as 24 House Republicans voted with the Democrats to pass the bill.

Now, the bill is now heading over to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

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