A group of nine governors have sent a letter to House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders urging them to pass legislation that would provide billions in financial aid to microchip producers.
According to Bloomberg, the letter urges rapid approval of the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act, or the CHIPS for America Act. This legislation, which would provide U.S. semiconductor producers with $52 billion in federal funding, was originally included as part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) that was passed by the Senate in June. This bill eventually stalled in the House and has since been put on the backburner as the Biden Administration works to flesh out its $1.75 trillion economic agenda.
The letter initiative was led by Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer. In addition to Whitmer, it was also signed by the governors of Illinois, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Kansas and California.
Some Republicans and Democrats have been urging the administration to separate the funding for microchip producers from the Senate bill and pass it as standalone legislation, Bloomberg also reports. This could potentially prevent the funding from being delayed as other, unrelated language in the bill is fleshed out, providing more timely aid to the struggling chip production sector in America.
According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, the share global semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the U.S. has eroded from 37 percent in 1990 to just 12 percent today. With the majority of automotive chip production occurring abroad, American automakers have struggled to maintain a consistent supply amid the supply crunch, hampering their production output and hurting profits.
The governors’ letter was set to be delivered to House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday.