WATCH: Sen. Kelly Champions Bill to Maximize CHIPS Act in Speech on Senate Floor
Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly spoke on the Senate floor in support of his bill to maximize benefits of his landmark CHIPS and Science Act by streamlining federal reviews while maintaining bedrock environmental protections for clean air and water. The Building Chips in America Act, which Sen. Kelly introduced earlier this week, would give the administration additional authority to more effectively implement the CHIPS and Science Act and maximize its potential to boost domestic microchip manufacturing, strengthen domestic supply chains, lower costs, and improve national security. Kelly’s bill is supported by Democrats and Republicans in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
“Right now, we have an opportunity to maximize the impact of the CHIPS Act for our economy and for our national security. Plans already underway that have received the necessary permits should not have to face extra hurdles,” said Kelly during his floor speech. “So, Mr. President, let’s cut the red tape. Let’s start reaping the benefits of our historic CHIPS Act.”
Click here to watch Sen. Kelly’s remarks. See below for a complete transcript:
When Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act last summer, we made a promise to America that these historic investments would be felt in communities across the country. More microchip manufacturing facilities. More high-paying jobs that do not require a four-year degree. Lower costs. A stronger supply chain and a stronger economy.
Since the CHIPS Act became law, companies have announced plans to invest hundreds of billions of dollars to bring microchip manufacturing back to America, including in Arizona. But here’s the problem: as currently implemented, when these projects receive incentives through the CHIPS Act, they are subject to a new federal review under a process called NEPA. This includes projects that have already received the necessary state and federal environmental permits and are already under construction. So, factories that are being built right now in places like Phoenix could be forced to pause construction and undergo a redundant federal review. And that just doesn’t work.
So, this week, along with my colleagues Senators Young, Brown, and Hagerty, I introduced the Building Chips in America Act. And this bill would speed up the construction of projects supported by the CHIPS Act by streamlining federal permitting reviews and keeping in place bedrock environmental protections for clean air and clean water.
To do this, the bill designates the Department of Commerce as the lead agency to carry out NEPA reviews for any CHIPS Act project. It also clarifies that certain projects–certain chips projects, like those already under development with necessary permits–are not major federal actions and, therefore, are not subject to a NEPA review. These measures would prevent costly delays for projects.
And right now, we have an opportunity to maximize the impact of the CHIPS Act for our economy and for our national security. Plans already underway that have received the necessary permits should not have to face extra hurdles.
So, Mr. President, let’s cut the red tape. Let’s start reaping the benefits of our historic CHIPS Act. Thank you.