U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), member of the Senate Commerce Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding his no vote on the CHIPS-Plus bill:
“Our dependence on semiconductors manufactured abroad is a serious vulnerability. Right now, an enormous amount of the most complex semiconductors are built in Taiwan, where they are vulnerable to everything from natural disasters to Chinese aggression. That’s why I’m enthusiastically in support of taking common-sense steps to bring semiconductor manufacturing – and manufacturing in general – back to the United States. And I’m proud that many of these semiconductors will be built in Texas.
“However, the CHIPS-Plus is the wrong approach to this laudable goal. I’m all for using the tax code to incentivize manufacturers to build semiconductors in America, but when the federal government simply gives billions of taxpayer dollars directly to massive corporations, it invites cronyism and corruption. Corporate welfare is the wrong approach to solving a serious problem. The CHIPS-Plus bill allows companies to take American taxpayer dollars without adequate safeguards to ensure American tax dollars are spent here at home to increase American chip production.
“This bill does contain several provisions that I’m honored to have championed, including the FABS Act, which would incentivize manufacturing in the U.S. through tax credits for investments here at home. The FABS Act would require chip manufacturers to invest in the U.S. in order to qualify for the tax benefit. In that sense it will help prevent waste, fraud, and abuse while also ensuring the government is not picking winners and losers.
“Importantly, the bill also includes several provisions that I authored, including extending the International Space Station through 2030, furthering NASA’s exploration efforts, and creating a Moon to Mars Program, which will establish a specific office at NASA to focus solely on putting the boots of American explorers back on the Moon and eventually on Mars. The State of Texas, and especially the Johnson Space Center in Houston, will play an outsized role in making these goals a reality, of administering this new Moon to Mars Program, and ensuring NASA, and the United States, are successful in space exploration. The space provisions in this bill will bolster America’s leadership in space, and I was proud to fight for them.
“On balance, although there is much good in this bill, it takes the wrong approach of direct corporate subsidies rather than a more targeted and strategic approach to bringing semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States.”
Senator Cruz has been a champion for NASA throughout his time in the Senate. He has previously served as the top Republican on the Commerce Committee’s space subcommittee, where he helped secure the extension of the International Space Station to 2024 as part of the most recently enacted NASA authorization, led the effort to extend the ISS, and worked to ensure that the Johnson Space Center remains the home of manned spaceflight in the United States.