WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sweeping legislation that could affect Intel’s multi-billion-dollar decision to build state-of-the-art computer chip factories in central Ohio is facing a make-or-break moment.
What You Need To Know
- The CEO of Intel issued a warning this week about his company’s plans in Ohio if Congress does not reach a deal on computer chip legislation
- Ohio U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R) are concerned the company could decrease its planned investment in Licking County
- Intel announced earlier this year it planned to build at least two computer chip factories in Central Ohio
- Lawmakers are negotiating a $52 billion bill called the CHIPS Act
The company announced in January that it wanted to invest at least $20 billion to build at least two computer chip plants in Licking County.
But the company’s CEO issued a warning this week, specifically to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who has threatened to derail negotiations over a bill that would help fund the construction.
“We’ve made super clear to McConnell, to the Democrats, to the Republicans that if this doesn’t pass, I will change my plans,” Pat Gelsinger, the CEO, told Washington Post Live on Tuesday.
Gelsinger also took to Twitter on Tuesday to talk specifically about Ohio, writing, “We have equipment in place and have started prep work for beginning major construction, but… we are still waiting on Congress to act.”
Ten days ago, we took delivery of the land in Ohio for our new Mega fab. We have equipment in place and have started prep work for beginning major construction, but … we are still waiting on Congress to act. pic.twitter.com/HC8F8cYPoI— Pat Gelsinger (@PGelsinger) July 12, 2022
The CHIPS Act, a $52 billion bill, has been stalled in Congress as lawmakers negotiate a broader piece of legislation aimed at helping the U.S. stay competitive with China.
Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R) are at the center of the negotiations.
Both are concerned Intel could decrease its investment in Ohio if the bill doesn’t pass, but they disagree over who is to blame.
Brown points the finger at McConnell, who has pledged to kill the legislation if Democrats try to pass, on a party-line vote, a separate package focused on lowering prescription drugs.
In an interview with Spectrum News, Brown argued Congress can work on multiple bills at the same time.
“I’m very concerned that Intel is already looking to Europe because of Sen. McConnell’s slowing down this bill that should have passed by now,” he said.
Portman blames Democrats in the House for trying to add on to the competitiveness bill.
He told Spectrum News he wants the House to take up the Senate version that has already passed with bipartisan support.
“If we don’t do something quickly, and by that I mean by the end of this month, before the August recess, it’s very likely that companies will make decisions to go overseas for their next fab, which is what they call the chips manufacturing facility, rather than here,” Portman said. “One could be Intel.”
Intel’s CEO has said if the CHIPS Act becomes law, its investment in Ohio could grow from $20 billion to $100 billion, creating potentially tens of thousands of jobs.
There’s a chance the Senate votes on a narrower version of the broader bill next week, to try to reach the August deadline.
While Portman and Brown said they would support a standalone version of the CHIPS Act, it’s unclear if enough Republicans would.