MADISON, Wis. — Yesterday, Ron Johnson voted against critical bipartisan legislation that will invest in manufacturing, help ease costs, improve supply chains, and ensure the U.S. is better equipped to compete against China in technological innovation.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Ron Johnson votes against bipartisan legislation to ramp up production of U.S.-made semiconductor chips

Key Points:

  • Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson was among 33 senators to oppose bipartisan legislation that would put tens of billions of dollars toward the domestic production of semiconductor chips…

  • Now called the “Chips and Science” bill, the legislation would, in part, allocate more than $50 billion toward chip manufacturing and provide tax credits to companies that make the semiconductor chips, which are used for everything from cellphones and refrigerators to military and agricultural equipment.

  • A shortage of such chips recently led to a slowdown in automobile manufacturing.

  • Johnson on Tuesday called the package “more corporate welfare” for the semiconductor industry and indicated the funding would “fuel the flames of inflation.”

  • Still, bipartisan supporters of the legislation indicated the funding would boost job growth and reduce national security risks by helping the country compete with other nations like China, which has led the way in semiconductor manufacturing.

  • “If access to those chips were cut off or restricted, we would be up a creek without a paddle,” Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, who sponsored a version of the legislation, said on the Senate floor this week. He called domestic production of semiconductor chips a “key national security priority.”

  • “If it concerns our nation’s security, safety or public health,” Baldwin said, “we have got to be able to stand on our own two feet and produce it here.”

  • And some in Wisconsin see the bill as a boon to the state’s manufacturing industry.

  • Baldwin has contended such legislation would encourage Made in Wisconsin manufacturing, strengthen supply chains and create more jobs in the state.

  • The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, a Milwaukee-based trade association representing construction and agricultural equipment manufacturers, said the funding “stands to benefit Wisconsin and its 187,000 equipment manufacturing jobs.”

  • “This bill will reassert American leadership in microelectronic innovation and manufacturing, and we encourage Congress to move quickly and send this bill to President Biden’s desk,” said Kip Eideberg, AEM’s senior vice president of government and industry relations.

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