WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden invited business leaders and the governors of Michigan and Indiana to the White House Wednesday to call on Congress to push through a massive manufacturing bill designed to bridge gaps in the U.S. supply chain.
Some experts say the supply chain holes are at least in part to blame for the high rate of inflation. The CHIPS Act would invest billions in domestic production of semiconductor chips to close one of those holes.
“This opportunity is really important for our nation,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said. “We need the Congress to get the CHIPS Act done.”
She sat next to Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, at the president’s roundtable to voice her support for the act. She says it is key to bringing jobs back to the U.S. and lower prices for consumers.
The semiconductor chips are found in all sorts of things from your smartphone to the computers that help run your car. Most are made overseas and the difficulty getting them to the U.S. during the pandemic has caused problems for companies.
“I’ve seen lots of cars waiting for the chips. We’ve also had (automotive) plants idle” because of chip shortages, Whitmer said.
Whitmer also argued that the bill, once it is law, will help keep inflation under control in the future.
“(Foreign production) puts us at the mercy of shortages and supply chain bottlenecks,” Biden said. “The bottom line is this bipartisan innovation bill will allow us to stamp more products, ‘Made in America.'”
Democrats and Republicans are working on a compromise between the House of Representatives and Senate versions of the legislation before sending it to the president’s desk.
While it has broad support, some say Congress should go further. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said it should work to support domestic manufacturing in more sectors.
“We need to be making all of our critical supplies in the United States,” Hawley said. “At least 50 percent of them be made in the United States.”