December 5, 2022 7:07 am

Local News

Georgia Republicans Vote Against CHIPS Act, Despite Broad Support For Technology Research And Jobs

AP Photos

Anzhe Zhang

Last week the Senate passed the CHIPS and Science Act, a $280 billion investment plan with a flagship $52 billion package aimed at investing billions into semiconductor manufacturing and research domestically, part of a broader move that aims for the U.S. to pour billions into competitive technology industries like artificial intelligence, computing, and more.

The act was approved by Congress and is waiting to be signed by President Biden. A large impetus for the investment plan comes from increasing competition from China, which invests heavily into its technology sectors, as well as the global chip shortage that has persisted as an issue ever since the pandemic began.

Through the CHIPS Act, lawmakers are hedging their bets that by matching China’s investments, the U.S. can become more economically self-sufficient in critical sectors that coincide with national security. It was a moment where the national body seemed to mostly agree, as the bill passed the Senate 64 to 33, while the House passed it with 243 votes against 187.

Yet that wasn’t the case for all eight of Georgia’s Republican congressmen, who voted against the bill, signaling that they were unconcerned about the prospect of the U.S.  getting outpaced by China in industries that dominate the global economy, while also passing on an opportunity to create numerous high-quality paying jobs for Americans across the country.

“The CHIPS and Science Act is popular, bipartisan, and will help create good-paying jobs, but Georgia’s congressional Republicans are so extreme that they’d rather give China a leg up than get a strong bipartisan effort across the finish line,” Ryan Radulovacki, a Democratic Party of Georgia spokesperson said.

“Thankfully, despite GOP obstruction, Georgia Democrats in Congress – with the leadership of Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock – helped pass this crucial package to boost our economy and lower costs for Georgians,” he continued.

Security and technology experts argue that the CHIPS Act is vital for the U.S. if it wants to stop relying on other countries’ for producing components that are critical to everything from consumer electronics to health care equipment.

The chip shortage has created a ripple effect in the broader economy due to its widespread demand and use. 

For example, when a consumer good, such as a car, is missing the chip necessary in the manufacturing process, used car prices go up, which worsens inflation, creating a downwards economic spiral.

Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan included talks with Mark Liu, the chairman of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the largest chipmaker in the world, to discuss the Chips and Science Act.