Gov. Doug Ducey, Sen. Mark Kelly find common ground in support of semiconductor bill

Jul 19, 2022, 4:00 PM
U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly, left, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (Facebook Photos)...
U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly, left, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (Facebook Photos)
(Facebook Photos)

PHOENIX – Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly are on the same side when it comes to a bill that would supercharge the nation’s semiconductor industry.

“It’s well past time for Congress to pass into law our microchip manufacturing plan to create high-paying jobs and strengthen our supply chains,” Kelly said in a press release Monday.

Bipartisan legislation to provide $52 billion in incentives for the semiconductor industry was thought to be in trouble recently, but Senate Republican leaders appear to be easing their opposition.

Ducey said Tuesday “now is the time” for the deal to be finalized.

“This is a once in a generation opportunity to lay the groundwork to ensure that America maintains and grows our semiconductor leadership – a goal that has an outsized benefit to our state given Arizona’s rich history and future in the chip industry,” he said on social media.

Three weeks ago, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said he would block the plan as long as Democrats pursued what he called a “partisan reconciliation bill.”

But Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia decided to dramatically narrow the Democratic effort and axe the tax hikes, opening the window for Republican cooperation.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Monday that Manchin’s announcement on taxes means “we’re in a posture where we can go forward with the chips funding and other related provisions.”

“I hope we will be able to take action on that in the coming days,” Cornyn said.

The bill coming before the Senate this week is much narrower than legislation that each chamber had passed this Congress.

The Biden administration is pressing Congress to move quickly on the semiconductor bill before a month-long August recess.

It’s a rare instance where Ducey and President Joe Biden agree.

“This legislative effort — an initiative spanning administrations and political parties — will secure America’s future economic prosperity enabled by cutting-edge semiconductor tech, create thousands of high-skilled jobs, and advance American national security and military strength,” Arizona’s governor said.

“These are not partisan issues. If we don’t pass this, America loses and China wins. It’s that simple.”

Microchips have become a big part in Arizona’s economy. The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Intel are building multibillion-dollar microchip production facilities in the Valley, spurring other companies in the industry to set up shop in the area.

“The investment tax credit we’ve successfully added to the bill will be a multiplier to bring even greater investment in American microchip manufacturing, especially in Arizona where Intel and TSMC are planning their expansions,” Kelly said. “Let’s get this done.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Gov. Doug Ducey, Sen. Mark Kelly find common ground in support of semiconductor bill