Fri, Jul 29, 2022 3:11 PM
By J.D. Davidson, The Center Square
Intel is ready to move forward with its planned $20 billion new plant in central Ohio after Congress moved forward with the CHIPS Act this week, but some Ohio congressmen believe giving money to big business was the wrong move.
U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan, Warren Davidson, Brad Wenstrup and Bob Latta, all Republicans, voted against the act that state leaders called critical to Ohio’s economy and to cementing Intel’s plans.
Jordan, who represents parts of north central and western Ohio, is chairman of the House Freedom Caucus – a group that called it cronyism and slammed 17 Senate Republicans including Ohio’s Rob Portman.
“The Senate’s CHIPS-Plus Act not only adds $79 billion to the deficit, but also is loaded with crony capitalist handouts, Green New Deal climate initiatives and radical ‘woke’ policies,” the caucus said in a statement. “Worse still, it’s passage in the Senate – with the help of 17 Senate Republicans – has opened the door for even more out-of-control spending in the Democrats’ reconciliation deal with $400 billion in spending for liberal priorities and some $700 billion in tax increases.”
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger called the act, which still needs a signature from President Joe Biden, important for the semiconductor industry and key as the company begins its Ohio project.
Intel announced in January its plan to bring 3,000 direct jobs, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he expects another 7,000 construction jobs to be created.
Intel pulled back plans over the summer, canceling its July 22 groundbreaking while the federal money remained in limbo.
"I congratulate Congress on voting to approve funding for the CHIPS Act. This is a critical step to support the entire U.S. semiconductor industry and to help ensure continued American leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and R&D,” Gelsinger said in a statement. “Congress has done its part, and now we are going to do ours. I'm excited to put shovels in the ground as Intel moves full speed ahead to start building in Ohio."
Ohio business and industry groups were also supportive, calling the passage key for the state’s economy as Intel plans to move forward with its project.
“This legislation is critical to Ohio’s economy. But beyond that, it is vital to our national security,” Ryan Augsburger, president of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, said after passage. “It’s time to reduce America’s reliance on foreign-made computer chips and seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. Ohio manufacturers are ready to lead this new chapter of American innovation.”
Davidson, who represents southwest and central western Ohio, likened the act to China’s investment plans and called it another example of big government.
“Today we saw that nobody loves big government like big business. Will American workers now be taxed to build factories for other industries? Granting gifts from the Treasury to profitable businesses in a favored niche and allowing them to keep the profits sets a horrible precedent,” Davidson said. “We are not strengthening America’s economy by copying China’s government-controlled investment strategies. To help a few winners, this bill sticks hard-working Americans with another bill for the swamp’s refusal to hold China accountable for abusive trade practices, theft of intellectual property, blocking of market access, and horrible human rights abuses.”