DETROIT (FOX 2) - U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with many United Auto Workers (UAW) leaders plus other Michigan Democratic lawmakers on Friday as she campaigns to get more votes to approve the Chips Act.
The Senate is expected to hold a final vote on the CHIPS Act as early as next week, after the measure passed a procedural hurdle Tuesday. The bill would provide more than $50 billion to boost the production for U.S. computer chip manufacturing. These are the semiconductor chips that have been making some things hard for consumers to find - from cars to appliances.
The bill was passed despite projections from some companies and automakers like Volkswagen that the chip shortage should improve in the second half of the year, in turn helping to ameliorate supply chain issues and rising costs.
During a semiconductor chip roundtable, Pelosi met with UAW President Ray Curry, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, and other Democratic leaders to talk about the legislation. She hit back at those say the billions would help prop up more corporations.
"It’s not for corporate America, it’s for jobs in America, so that they stay here and keep the jobs here," Pelosi said.
The legislation is meant to incentivize semiconductor production in America and decrease dependence on foreign manufacturers, especially those in Asia. More than $50 billion would go towards domestic chip production and include tax incentives to build plants for increased production. $2 billion would be set aside for what’s called legacy chip production, which is integral to the auto industry.
Democratic U.S. Senators from Michigan, Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters were also working to sell the CHIPS Act to Michiganders Friday, speaking at Lear Corporation in Southfield.
"This is a problem that only will increase in complexity as we move towards electric vehicles and ultimately self driving cars. The auto industry is going to continue to need even more production of chips and there's no way that the domestic auto industry can be reliant on foreign producers of chips. This is about national security economic security," Peters said.
The measure doesn't have support from everyone. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders questions the merits of giving big bucks to corporations, calling the legislation a "blank check" to profitable microchip and semiconductor companies.
Pelosi acknowledged that the businesses will reap some benefit.
"Yes there will be collateral benefit if we’re doing something with the private sector and with us, making sure there will be some upside for the workers,"
Pelosi said she expects a vote on the legislation as early as next week. The measure must first clear the Senate and then the House, before arriving on President Joe Biden’s desk for a signature.
Some have called attention to Nvidia stock trades by Paul Pelosi, her husband, prior to the measure’s passage because the company deals in semiconductors and could potentially stand to benefit.