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U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer: Semiconductor bill a ‘wasted opportunity’ to confront China

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved the “CHIPS and Science Act,” a bill with the stated intention of boosting economic competitiveness with China.

Included in the provisions of the legislation is the allocation of more than $52 billion for U.S. corporations to boost the production of American-made semiconductors, according to CNBC. Additionally, the bill provides billions in tax credits aimed at spurring investment in computer chip manufacturing.

The lower chamber of Congress voted 243-187 for the bill’s passage, with 24 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting the legislation. All but one member of Alabama’s congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), voted against the measure.

One Alabama congressman that voted against the multi-billion dollar piece of legislation, U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Hoover), asserted that the “unpaid-for bill” had been interfered with by “special interests” to the detriment of the American taxpayer.

“This $280 billion unpaid-for bill is a wasted opportunity to combat aggression by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and ignores the record levels of inflation American families are facing,” lamented Palmer. “While pandemic supply chain issues showed us how important it is to have more semiconductors built here in the United States, this bill is another example of special interests using legislation to promote their own financial benefit at the expense of American families.”

As the communist regime in China continues to dominate portions of the global supply chain, Palmer advised that Congress needed to act on addressing the nation’s computer chip shortage.

However, the congressman took issue with the tax credits and federal allocation of tax dollars toward corporations. Instead, Palmer stressed that lawmakers should consider reducing the regulatory and tax burden levied upon industry to promote domestic production.

“The threat posed by the CCP is real and simply throwing money at large corporations will not solve the problem,” he added. “Congress needs to confront the current semiconductor shortage by reducing regulations that prevent companies from procuring resources domestically and creating a tax system that doesn’t penalize capital investment.”

Palmer concluded, “Once again, on another critical issue, the Democrats in Congress have failed the American people.”

As the bill has now passed both chambers of Congress, it will now head to the White House for President Joe Biden’s signature.

UPDATE 4:28 p.m.:

In a statement outlining his opposition to the bill, U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) decried the legislation’s inclusion of “crony capitalist handouts.”

“In the midst of our highest inflation rate in more than 40 years, this legislation spends $250 billion on crony capitalist handouts with no guardrails to prevent that money from strengthening China’s economy instead of our own,” said Moore. “We all share the goal of revitalizing the critical semiconductor industry, but I cannot vote for legislation that adds $79 billion to the deficit without proper oversight or assurances of accomplishing its stated purpose.”

“If we truly want to boost the American economy and decrease our dangerous dependence on foreign technology, energy, and supply chains, the answer is reducing taxes and regulations for all American industries and families, not crony capitalism,” finished the congressman.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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