Aug 1, 2022 - Business

Ohio lawmakers split on chips bill

Data: House of Representatives; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Most Ohio members of Congress voted in favor of a major package for American chipmakers and scientific research last week.

Why it matters: The CHIPS and Science Act includes $53 billion to fund semiconductor production like the new Intel plant to be built in Licking County.

Between the lines: Supporting a bill that aids major corporations, spurs job growth and helps the U.S. better compete with China would be a no-brainer for most politicians, but this legislation was caught up in usual D.C. shenanigans.

  • A surprise deal between Senate Democrats on a separate climate change and prescription drug reform package led many Republicans to oppose the bill ostensibly over fears of inflation and further spending, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.

Zoom in: Eight GOP members from Ohio broke ranks and voted for the bill, including Rep. Troy Balderson of Zanesville, who represents the county where the Intel plant is being built.

What they're saying: In a statement, Balderson called the bill a "once-in-a-lifetime investment in Ohio" that will support good-paying jobs in his district.

  • Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) wrote in a tweet that the legislation's importance "cannot be overstated" in buttressing Intel's investments in the region.

Meanwhile, during a House floor speech, Rep. Tim Ryan condemned those who voted against the bill, accusing them of "putting party over country."

  • "My God, if we can't agree on this, what the hell are we going to agree on?"

What's next: The bill heads to President Biden for a signature on what has become a priority for his administration this year.

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