Sen. Cruz Leads GOP Colleagues In Blasting Admin for Left-Wing Strings Put on Semiconductor Money
March 23, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas) this week led a letter with more than a dozen Senate Republican colleagues to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo urging the administration to strike a number of liberal social policy conditions that were attached to grants for domestic chip production. Few of the requirements on the $39 billion in money, such as requiring applicants to develop plans around mass transit use and affordable housing, were found in the CHIPS Act, a bill enacted last year meant to help re-shore semiconductor manufacturing.
In the letter, the Senators wrote:
…Many of the grant criteria detailed in your Department’s recent Notice of Funding Opportunity(“NOFO”) will have the opposite effect of Congress’s intent with enactment of the CHIPS Act and instead make domestic chip production more expensive, less competitive, and reliant on taxpayer subsidies over private investment.
Furthermore, your Department has included in the NOFO extraneous environmental-social governance (ESG) requirements that seek to enact progressive policies that had been previously rejected by Congress. These policies include liberal wish list items, many of which were removed from the White House’s “Build Back Better” major spending package, H.R. 5376 (P.L 117-169), because they did not have the votes to pass at even a simple majority in the Senate. To claim that these provisions are integral to the “national security mission” of the CHIPS Act and will “[result] in lower costs” defies reason.
The Commerce Department should amend the NOFO by striking all application requirements that are ancillary to accomplishing Congress’s stated goals or otherwise squander taxpayer dollars on social policy objectives.
“The CHIPS Act was passed by Congress for the purpose of reversing the decline of the domestic semiconductor industry. It is apparent from the NOFO’s enumerated priorities that the Commerce Department intends to repurpose the CHIPS program and circumvent Congress. We urge the Department to reverse these superfluous and partisan provisions in the NOFO immediately[…]
“The CHIPS Act was passed by Congress for the purpose of reversing the decline of the domestic semiconductor industry. It is apparent from the NOFO’s enumerated priorities that the Commerce Department intends to repurpose the CHIPS program and circumvent Congress. We urge the Department to reverse these superfluous and partisan provisions in the NOFO immediately.”
Specifically, the Senators requested seven categories of provisions be stricken from the NOFO including Green New Deal mandates, mandates for cradle-to-grave “wraparound” services for employees, subsidized housing and transportation for employees, discrimination in hiring practices against non-union workers and “economically disadvantaged individuals,” and government seizure of “excess” profits.
Sen. Cruz was joined by more than a dozen Senate Republican colleagues: Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Ted Budd (R-N.C.), and Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.).
The full text of this letter is available HERE.