WASHINGTON (WAVY) – With rare bipartisan support, congress passed the Chips and Science Act this week; legislation that will affect just about every life and many jobs here in Hampton Roads.
It provides a $280 billion springboard to establish a stronger manufacturing base for semiconductor chips here in the US.
If you’ve shopped for a new or even used car in the past three years – or had to wait on a new appliance – you’ve felt the shortage of chips in the US economy. But, Congresswoman Elaine Luria (D-Va. 2nd) says it goes much further than that.
“This is really a bill to make sure that we have independence in the American semiconductor industry. Right now 90% of chips are produced in Taiwan,” Luria said.
Luria says the plan gets tough on China, a threat to Taiwan that would put the current supply chain of chips in jeopardy.
Luria’s opponent in the upcoming mid-term election, State Sen. Jen Kiggans (R- Va. 7th Dist.) called on Luria to sell her millions of dollars in Nvidia Corporation stock after her vote to support the legislation.
According to a Kiggans press release, “Rep. Luria’s holdings in Nvidia Corporation has increased up to 400% since she initially disclosed her ownership of up to $5 million in the stock,” calling her vote for the industry “unethical, self-serving, and the latest example of how she will put her bottom line ahead of her constituents’ well-being”.
“It’s a hollow political attack,” Luria responded, saying Kiggans is mistaken because Nvidia is a chip designer and not a chip maker, and actually opposed the legislation.
“They’re not qualified for the subsidies that are addressed in the legislation,” Luria said.
Chips affect civilian and military life on a daily basis, Luria says.
“Things that we use from the time we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep. Appliances, all of the electronics in our homes, our cars,” she said. “They’re incredibly important for the Navy and the Department of Defense, every weapons system, every aircraft.”
The bill passed in the House 243-187, and in the Senate 64-33, and Luria says Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) was instrumental in putting it together.
“It’s a big opportunity to bring chip and semiconductor chip manufacturing to Virginia,” Luria said.