In a front page story this morning, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported that despite the fact that “NH companies support CHIPS bill,” Senator Hassan’s Republican opponents have all come out against the legislation. The story notes that the competition bill opposed by the Republican Senate field invests in “programs popular with New Hampshire companies” and will “ramp up America’s technology competition with China” and “reduce U.S. reliance on China and Korea for supply” of semiconductor chips.
By Kevin Landrigan
Sen. Maggie Hassan on Monday celebrated a bill on President Joe Biden’s desk that will ramp up America’s technology competition with China, while all of her major Republican opponents condemned her role in the legislation.
Because Biden has COVID-19, it’s uncertain when he will sign the Chips and Science Act of 2022, which creates incentives for American companies to make their own semiconductor chips and reduce U.S. reliance on China and Korea for supply.
Biden said his signature was inevitable when he praised the U.S. House’s passage last Thursday of the legislation Hassan first co-sponsored in 2021.
“I am proud to have worked with my Republican and Democratic colleagues alike to develop this bill that will soon be signed into law and will significantly strengthen our economic and national security,” Hassan said in a statement.
The state’s junior senator has claimed the bill will help address runaway inflation, considering that scarce chip supplies have driven up the price of everything from cars and microwaves to military equipment.
“We need to be able to make these things ourselves,” Hassan said.
The major GOP candidates jostling to take on Hassan in November all panned the legislation as more reckless spending and improper government interference in the free market.
Hassan: Opposition ‘ridiculous’
Hassan fired back late Monday.
“I worked with Republicans to pass this legislation because I knew it would would strengthen our national security and lower costs, and it’s ridiculous that my opponents oppose this vital legislation that earned the support of 17 Republican senators,” Hassan said.
The $280 billion bill also had the backing of 24 House Republicans.
In addition to spending $52 billion on the incentives to build more semiconductors, Hassan pointed to other programs popular with New Hampshire companies that will receive more money under the bill.
These include the Manufacturing Extension Partnership in New Hampshire and Manufacturing USA, which includes Manchester’s Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), the New Hampshire EPSCoR program that funds research and education at New Hampshire universities.
“As a leading supplier of defense microelectronics and electronic systems, BAE Systems is collaborating with our commercial, defense, academic, and government partners to execute a balanced, holistic approach to help meet our nation’s microelectronics needs,” said James Li, director of the microelectronics sector at BAE Systems, who called the bill “mission critical.”
Minim Chief Executive Officer Gray Chynoweth attended a roundtable Hassan hosted on the topic last winter at Cirtronics Corp. in Milford.
“The successful passage of Senator Hassan’s bill through the Senate marks a major victory not only for businesses and manufacturers based in the Granite State, but those across the country as well,” said Chynoweth, a former Democratic nominee for Executive Council