‘Congress should be ashamed’: Liberals blast Senate subsidies for tech giants

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The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed sweeping bipartisan legislation that Sen. Bernie Sanders and progressive advocacy groups decried as a massive giveaway to corporations such as Intel, whose CEO has been lobbying aggressively in support of the bill’s subsidies for the profitable microchip industry.

Known as the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act, the $280 billion legislation is purportedly an attempt to bolster domestic manufacturing and alleviate the U.S. shortage of microchips, which are used in cars, phones, medical equipment, and other everyday electronic devices.

Intel congratulated the Senate on its vote, hailing it as a step toward advancing “American leadership in semiconductor manufacturing” and strengthening “American national and economic security.”

But Sanders (I-Vt.) has repeatedly warned that the bill’s $52 billion in subsidies for the microchip industry—as well as its $24 billion in tax credits for semiconductor plants—lack safeguards to prevent companies from using the taxpayer money to buy back their own stock, offshore U.S. jobs, or fight unionization efforts.

Sanders was the only member of the Senate Democratic caucus to vote against the bill, which passed by an overwhelming margin of 64-33. The House is expected to follow suit later this week.

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