UPDATE: US Senate passes CHIPS+ act, which could benefit Micron, with bipartisan support – Risch & Crapo vote no

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The United States Senate broke a stalemate and passed legislation that could bring significant tax breaks to Boise-based Micron Technology to expand computer chip production in the US.

On a vote of 64-33, the Senate moved forward the CHIPS Plus Act to the House. If it passes that body and gets a signature from President Joe Biden, it could bring as much as $52 billion in subsidies to American chipmakers. Boise-based Micron Technology stumped heavily for the bill in recent months.

As BoiseDev has reported since last fall, Micron has been eyeing a manufacturing expansion at its site in Boise on Federal Way, hooked on the Federal tax package passing.

Risch, Crapo vote no

Jim Risch Mike Crapo
Idaho Senators Jim Risch & Mike Crapo

The bill had bipartisan support, with 16 Republicans and every Democrat voting yes (Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, voted no). Idaho Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo both voted no on the CHIPS Plus Act. In statements to BoiseDev, both cited additional spending that made its way into the bill in recent weeks.

“It is important to our national security that the U.S. semiconductor industry have the stability to maintain supply chains and expand production,” Crapo said. “That is why, as the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, I worked on legislation that would provide that much-needed support, including for Idaho’s semiconductor industry. Unfortunately, this critical semiconductor legislation was hijacked by Senator Schumer who, at the last minute, added hundreds of pages authorizing $200 billion dollars of increased spending unrelated to semiconductors. This fuels the inflationary fires that we are all battling and drives up our national debt, which in itself is a tremendous threat to our national security. At a time when every day brings a new record high for rates, costs and inflation, we must stop this unfettered spending that is crippling our economy and penalizing everyday Americans.”

“I am proud to support Idaho’s semiconductor industry, and have done so for many years. Semiconductors are essential to national security, and every day we face new threats from countries like China attempting to steal our technologies and undercut world supply chains.  This aggression must be countered,” Risch said. “I helped draft the CHIPS Act and moved it forward in Congress. The CHIPS Act would have had my vote, but Senate Democrats added $200 billion dollars in unrelated spending that will be heaped onto the existing $30 trillion dollars of U.S. debt. I will continue strongly supporting the semiconductor industry as a vital aspect of national security, but the U.S. cannot meaningfully compete if we bankrupt ourselves along the way.”

“This bill is going to supercharge our efforts to make semiconductors… that power our everyday lives in America,” Biden said. “You know, they’re the building blocks for the modern economy, powering everything from smartphones, to dishwashers, to automobiles.  America invented semiconductors, but over the years, we let the manufacturing of those semiconductors get sent overseas.”

According to CNBC, the $52 billion in the bill could go to US-based companies that produce computer chips on US Soil, as well as tax credits for manufacturing.

Micron in Boise could benefit

Last week, US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo responded to a BoiseDev question on the act and confirmed that Micron Technology could launch a manufacturing expansion in Boise. It confirmed months of BoiseDev reporting that indicate the chipmaker would expand in Idaho if it got tax breaks from Congress.

The Idaho Legislature also passed tax incentives for the expansion of semiconductor manufacturing in the state and pegged the incentives on the passage of the CHIPS Act. Micron also has a longstanding cap on property taxes in the state, giving it a third tax incentive to expand in Idaho.

The company was founded in Boise and once manufactured semiconductors at its plant on Federal Way. Over the years, much of the chip-making has moved overseas, and the Boise plant has transitioned to research and development activities and corporate functions.

Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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