Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley admits it’s rare he and Independent Senator Bernie Sanders agree on legislation, but they’re in accord on the computer semiconductor bill due for a final vote this week.
Grassley says the so-called CHIPS bill is nothing less than “corporate welfare,” and it’s not the same as the measure that he supported last year. “There was never a bill that would give tax refunds to major corporations on top of the federal dollars when it was passed a year ago,” Grassley says. “Now that tax provision is in here. So there’s subsidy, refundable tax credits for major corporations that are very wealthy.”
Some provisions that were provided for in the earlier legislation have been accomplished, according to Grassley.
“We’ve already had a lot of companies saying that they’re going to invest in Texas, Arizona and in Ohio and computer chips,” Grassley says, “and that’s all happened since we passed the bill a year ago.”
Backers say CHIPS is designed to bolster U.S. production of computer semiconductors and to level the playing field with China, but Grassley disagrees. “We need to be tough on China, I want to make that very clear,” he says, “but the taxpayer can’t bankroll corporate welfare.”
Grassley says what was originally going to be 52-billion dollars in subsidies has ballooned to be 270-billion. In a tweet, Grassley said of CHIPS, “It’s just a huge govt handout to massive/already-profitable companies Why would we spend more taxpayer dollars for unnecessary corporate welfare?”