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Ohio leaders say the future of U.S. computer chip manufacturing depends on Congress | Statehouse News Bureau

A new spending bill in Congress could send a message to the world that the US is ready to compete for computer chip manufacturing jobs, according to some of Ohio’s top leaders.

US senators in Ohio are supporting a new $52 billion measure to allow grants and tax credits for semiconductor manufacturing in the country.

The money will boost development for companies like Intel, which is already building a $20 billion plant in central Ohio.

But there was a delay in Congress in passing this law in the past, which led to Intel canceling its plans for a ceremonial groundbreaking. However, Intel is still working on the actual build.

US Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, said the project would happen regardless, but that the creation of future projects depends on the ability of Congress to continue supporting the industry.

“They’re going to invest more in Ohio than they plan to. But we have to keep the ball rolling. And that means passing this bill and then continuing to work with companies and suppliers to bring them to Ohio,” Brown said.

US Senator Rob Portman, a Republican, also supported the legislation. He said on the floor of the Senate that there is an “urgency to do this because it is important to the decisions that are made today by the owners of the production and transport of semiconductor manufacturing, factories, and jobs in America or in other countries. “

The US Senate passed a $250 billion plan that included $52 billion for chip manufacturing last year. The US House then passed its own spending plan with chip manufacturing funds included in a $400 billion proposal.

Portman said the bill from US House Democrats includes “irrelevant things that Republicans can’t support.” Meanwhile, Brown accused Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of playing politics on the issue.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, a Republican, played a role behind the scenes to bring the Intel project to Ohio.

As Husted explained, Intel is implementing the first of what could be five phases of chip production in Ohio. He said the possibility of increased production in Ohio and the ability of the US to have domestically sourced computer chips is important for national and economic security.

“Some things are bigger than partisanship. This is about America’s economy and national security. That’s not a joke. We can’t rely on our most important product being made in countries that may not be America’s friends,” Husted said.

Husted said he hopes the bill to support chip manufacturing will be passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden in August.

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