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Congressman Higgins Announces Approval of the CHIPS and Science Act

Bill Makes Significant Investments in Next-Generation Technology & Innovation to Support U.S. Economic & National Security

Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) announced the approval of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (H.R.4346). This historic bipartisan bill will create 100,000 new good-paying jobs, lower costs of consumer goods for American families, end our dependence on foreign semiconductor manufacturers, and turbocharge American research and innovation. This not only a long-term investment in American economic and national security, but it is also an investment in the future of Western New York.

Congressman Higgins spoke on the House floor this week in support of the bill, stating, “Taiwan, a country of less than 24 million people in East Asia manufactures 92 percent of the world’s advanced computer chips. You cannot buy technological supremacy, but you can build it. Today the House will vote to approve the CHIPS Act, which will make a $280 billion investment in the design and actual making of advanced computer chips right here in America, $50 billion for the research and development and for the construction of chip manufacturing facilities in America. The bill also includes $10 billion to establish 20 region hubs, region centers of innovation. Buffalo, New York, is well positioned to be one of those. I urge this House to approve the CHIPS act and the Commerce Department to select Buffalo as one of the regional hubs.”

The CHIPS and Science act makes significant investments to bring the semiconductor supply chain back to the United States. Semiconductor chips are used in important everyday technology like cars and trucks, laptops, and medical devices. Currently, just 12 percent are manufactured in the United States, compared to 37 percent in the 1990s. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the weaknesses in our supply chains, as well as our dependence semiconductor technology manufactured overseas. Through the bill, the U.S. Department of Commerce will allocate $39 billion over five years toward incentives to build, expand, and modernize domestic facilities and equipment for semiconductor fabrication, assembly, testing, advanced packaging, and research and development. Additionally, the bill includes $11 billion over five years toward research and development of semiconductors.

The bill boosts investment in American manufacturing from large facilities to small companies. It authorizes $2 billion to expand the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), including Insyte Consulting in Western New York, which supports small and medium-sized manufacturers with cybersecurity, workforce training, and supply-chain resiliency. Additionally, the bill increases funding the for the Manufacturing USA program to support ten new competitively awarded institutes.

It will also empower the next generation of American-made technology and innovation through significant investments in the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Energy, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The NSF will receive $81 billion, which includes $13 billion for STEM education to support scholarships, fellowships, and traineeships to diversify participation in STEM and expand areas like artificial intelligence, microelectronics, and cybersecurity. Additionally, $20 billion will be allocated to the first NSF Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) to accelerate domestic development of technologies that support our economic and national security.

The NSF Directorate will establish Regional Innovation Engines to grow our scientific, entrepreneurial, and STEM education capacity. The program will provide five-year awards to advance innovation in key technology areas and establish trainee programs for graduate students through higher education institutions, nonprofits, and private-sector enterprises. The University at Buffalo has the opportunity to be a part of this program, supporting climate technology and job creation in the community. Their approach will address the health and environmental impacts climate change is having on our community by leveraging workforce investments in East Buffalo and establishing climate-based start-ups.

The bill also makes critical investment in Regional Technology Hubs. Under this program, the Department of Commerce will designate at least 20 regional tech hubs across the country. Hubs will focus on technology development, job creation, and expanding American innovation capacity. The hubs will facilitate United States leadership in technology and innovation, support regional development in small cities and vulnerable communities, expand advanced manufacturing, improve the pace of market-ready technology, and create broad-based economic growth. Western New York has the potential to become one of these hubs, thanks to our region’s academic institutions, investments in new technology, and capacity to support a new manufacturing workforce. If successful, a hub designation would build on research already taking place at the University at Buffalo and place a greater emphasis on workforce training to support new, good-paying jobs for people in underserved communities.

Additionally, this legislation includes funding to implement the USA Telecom Act, a program that will shore up the global telecommunications supply chain and limit the scope of globally involved telecommunications companies with close ties to China. It allocates $1.5 billion to support a Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to spur movement towards open-architecture, software-based wireless technologies and fund innovation in the U.S. mobile broadband market.

The bill is supported by North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW).

Now passed by the House and Senate, this legislation will move to the President’s desk for final approval.