(Jason Cohen, Daily Caller News Foundation) Lawmakers are in conflict over rules that require the advancement of Democratic priorities in order to receive federal funding that is attached to the $53 billion CHIPS Act, which is intended to subsidize the semiconductor industry, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Commerce Department has mandated that semiconductor companies must hire “Americans from historically underserved communities” and chip makers requesting over $150 million need to provide affordable child care, according to a department fact sheet. Grant applicants will also be evaluated on “environmental responsibility,” according to a press release by the department.
“There is zero ‘social policy’ that we’re trying to achieve here,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in an interview, according to the WSJ. “We have no desire to put requirements on companies that are bad for the companies.”
Raimondo said the rules are designed to boost efficiency due to the worker shortage and the Commerce Department will negotiate with companies on a case-by-case basis, according to the WSJ.
Raimondo previously stated the child care rule will assist companies in luring women to fill vacant jobs, stating chip manufacturers “will not be successful unless you find a way to attract, train, put to work and retain women, and you won’t do that without child care,” according to The New York Times.
These demands weren’t specified in the CHIPS Act but by the Department of Commerce, something Republicans took issue with in a letter on March 16. They argued that the measures will be costly both in time and money, which will lead the United States to be less competitive with China.
The Department of Commerce did not immediately respond to Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.