Durbin Urges His Colleagues To Pass the CHIPS Act Without Delay

Senate to vote on CHIPS Act of 2022, critical legislation for our economy and national security, provides billions to boost domestic semiconductor capabilities

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) urged his colleagues to pass the CHIPS Act of 2022, critical legislation for our economy and national security that provides billions to boost our domestic semiconductor manufacturing capabilities. In 1990, the U.S. produced 37 percent of the world’s semiconductors.  Today, just 12 percent of semiconductors are manufactured in the United States. Durbin began his speech by highlighting the impacts this legislation will have on Illinois.

Durbin said, “For generations, my state of Illinois has been a leader in auto manufacturing.  This includes companies like the Stellantis plant in Belvidere.  Unfortunately, this plant had to force shutdowns and layoffs in recent years. Not because they lack customers, but because of a shortage of chips. The global shortage of semiconductors has forced the company to slash its workforce by more than 70 percent over the past three years… U.S. automakers are building an estimated three million fewer vehicles than projected this year because of the semiconductor shortage. Across America, layoffs, closed production lines, long waits, and high prices for cars, appliances, and other basics are evidence of the urgent need to invest in our domestic manufacturing industries and in the domestic production of semiconductors. If we fail to make these investments, American workers and consumers will continue to pay the price.”

The CHIPS Act of 2022 will also help our national security. Many U.S. defense systems and platforms rely on foreign-made chips for their performance, and semiconductors are particularly critical for next-generation defense technologies.

Durbin continued, “We’ve seen what a pandemic can do to supply chains. Think about how military conflict could up-end the global chips supply.  Imagine if China, for instance, decided to deliberately withhold microchips from a nation to weaken that nation’s defenses. Rebuilding America’s microchip production is about defending our nation, and our allies, in a dangerous world.”

The legislation also contributes to good paying jobs right here in America. The bill includes guardrails to promote and protect production in the U.S., such as prohibiting the manufacturing of certain chips in countries of concern like China. 

“In this bill are incentives to bring microchip production back to the United States, and they are absolutely necessary for us to compete with other nations that are trying to lure chipmakers from the U.S… Ultimately, this bill makes strategic investments to boost our domestic supply chains, counter the threat posed by countries like China and Russia, and help American consumers. I urge my colleagues to pass the CHIPS Act without delay,” Durbin concluded.

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.