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Ohio leader hopes comments about Intel by President Biden will not fan partisanship on key federal bill

Intel-Expansion-Ohio-2.jpg
Intel Corporation
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A rendering shows early plans for two new leading-edge Intel processor factories in Licking County, Ohio. Announced on Jan. 21, 2022, the $20 billion project spans nearly 1,000 acres and is the largest single private-sector investment in Ohio history. Construction is expected to begin in late 2022, with production coming online at the end of 2025. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted says the CHIPS Act is bipartisan and should stay that way.

President Biden drew attention to Intel’s planned semiconductor manufacturing facility in Ohio at Tuesday’s "State of the Union" speech. As he wove a story about Intel, the new project, and a federal bill that would provide support for semiconductor chip production, he quoted Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) but didn’t talk about any of the Republican leaders who were instrumental in bringing the project to Ohio.

The subject came up as President Biden was talking about the need to make more products in America when he referred to an example in Ohio.
“If you travel 20 miles east of Columbus Ohio, you’ll find 1000 empty acres of land. It won’t look like much but if you look closely, you will see a field of dreams. The ground on which America’s future will be built. That’s where Intel, the American company that helped build Silicon Valley, is going to build a $20 billion semiconductor mega-site," Biden said.

NEW ALBANY INTEL SITE 2
Daniel Konik
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Statehouse News Bureau
This is the proposed site of an Intel computer chip plant northeast of Columbus.

Biden talked about the need for Congress to approve the "Chips Act," legislation that would provide $52 billion for expansion of the Intel project, and other efforts to produce the semiconductor chips that are used in cars, phones, and other technology. The U.S. House passed one version of it, and the Senate passed another, with both of Ohio’s Republican and Democratic Senators supporting the plan. While both versions of the bill include that funding, it has been stuck in political gridlock ever since.

Lt. Gov Jon Husted talks about Intel project at Ohio Statehouse (Credit Jo Ingles).jpg
Jo Ingles
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Statehouse News Bureau
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted talks about the Intel project at the Ohio Statehouse

Republican Lt. Gov. Jon Husted worked with Gov. Mike DeWine and other state leaders to help bring Intel to Ohio. Husted says he favors the Senate plan, which doesn’t include $8 billion for climate change that Republicans opposed. When asked about his thoughts on Biden’s comments and whether that would help sell the bill on a bipartisan basis, Husted responded this way: “Anytime a president who is unpopular mentions something, it certainly does not necessarily help build broad-based support. But I recognize that President Biden wants to connect himself to successful things that are happening. We’re having success in Ohio. He’s connecting himself to it. In Ohio, though, we have not made it a partisan issue. We believe it is a bipartisan issue in the state of Ohio because it’s about jobs. It’s about education. It’s about growing our economy. And I don’t know who is not for that," Husted said.

Husted says making semiconductor chips in the U.S. should be an issue of American security, ensuring the country isn’t dependent on other countries for this valuable resource.

Contact Jo Ingles at jingles@statehousenews.org.
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