Sen. Rubio: ‘Woke Nonsense’ Threatening Bipartisan Industrial Revitalization Bill

Sen. Rubio: 'Woke Nonsense' Threatening Bipartisan Industrial Revitalization Bill Sen. Rubio: 'Woke Nonsense' Threatening Bipartisan Industrial Revitalization Bill Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., at the Heritage Foundation March 29, 2022 in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Charles Kim | Tuesday, 05 April 2022 11:01 AM

Congressional funding for a bipartisan bill, targeted to revitalize the American semiconductor industry and prevent supply chain disruptions, is being held up by "woke" Democrats and corporations trying to shoehorn diversity and equity into the legislation, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a Fox Business opinion column Tuesday.

"Republicans introduced the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act, which became law 15 months ago, to revitalize America’s lagging semiconductor industry and protect against supply chain disruptions. It was exactly the type of pro-America industrial policy I called for in December 2019 at the National Defense University," Rubio wrote.

"The CHIPS Act has yet to be funded. Instead, it has become a political football, with Democrats using the funding process to advance their woke priorities. These games threaten to dilute the program’s impact."

The act, originally introduced in 2020, "provides an income tax credit for semiconductor equipment or manufacturing facility investment through 2026. The bill also establishes a trust fund to be allocated upon reaching an agreement with foreign government partners to promote (1) consistency in policies related to microelectronics, (2) transparency in microelectronic supply chains, and (3) alignment in policies towards nonmarket economies."

While both houses of Congress passed their own versions of the legislation, it remains stalled as funding is worked out in a larger measure.

Both the House and Senate are now trying to work out the differences between the versions of the bill and complete the funding.

President Joe Biden called on Congress to complete the work on the legislation during his State of the Union address last month, Electronics360 reported.

"Intel's CEO, Pat Gelsinger, who is here tonight, told me they are ready to increase their investment from $20 billion to $100 billion,” Biden said during the SOTU. "That would be one of the biggest investments in manufacturing in American history. And all they're waiting for is for you to pass this bill. Send it to my desk. I'll sign it."

Rubio said, however, that Democrats are using the funding of the bill as leverage to insert requirements for firms receiving the incentives to "provide … data on the racial diversity of their workforce" and that the government prioritize companies that make "efforts to hire individuals from disadvantaged populations" when allocating funding.

Democrats in the House also want an “Office of Opportunity and Inclusion" opened at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Rubio said.

"If Democrats get their way, CHIPS investment decisions will be guided by the woke agenda, not common sense," Rubio said. "There is no doubt that American deindustrialization harmed minority communities. But that is an argument in favor of a broad-based industrial policy, not letting misguided equity officers dictate the terms of domestic semiconductor production."

Rubio also called out "unpatriotic" corporations that appear to fear criticizing the Chinese Communist Party.

"For the past 20 years, the lure of Chinese markets has turned American businesses into assets of the Chinese Communist Party," he said. "Pro-America industrial policy will help reverse the trend — but only, if necessary safeguards are in place. Otherwise, programs designed to give the U.S. a competitive advantage could end up benefiting the CCP.”

Original Article