For months I have been working hard with my colleagues in the House on finalizing the CHIPS and Science Act, a historic bipartisan bill that will bolster American manufacturing, create new good-paying jobs, strengthen our national security and lower prices for Iowans.
This week I was finally able to vote for the bill, which will invest in making more critical semiconductor components in America and help end the shortage of chips that has driven up the price of everything from cars to consumer goods.
Semiconductors are the computer chips that are critical to the production of cars, agriculture equipment, computers and other electronic goods. They are in short supply now in part because the vast majority of semiconductor production takes place overseas — meaning we are extremely reliant on places like Taiwan even when we’re making American cars.
For far too long, companies have outsourced jobs overseas, weakening our supply chain and reducing our competitiveness, all the while taking good paying jobs away from Americans.
In fact, semiconductor shortages have been so disruptive to car manufacturing that the rising cost of buying a car accounted for a full one-third of the overall increase in inflation last year.
The CHIPS and Science Act includes resources, training and tax credits to support American semiconductor manufacturing and research in order to fix this problem. If manufacturers make more semiconductors on American soil, we won’t be as reliant on imports to make cars in America.
It will also create 100,000 new good-paying jobs here in America and end our dangerous dependence on foreign manufacturing.
This piece of legislation was included in my Rural Prosperity Agenda — a package of bipartisan bills that I will be pushing Congress to pass to ensure that Iowans receive the investments they need to prosper.
This package of 11 bills that I helped introduce would make investments where we need them the most.
It will make sure that our first responders and emergency services are fully funded so they can best serve our communities. It will expand affordable housing options, work to combat rural homelessness and empower local entrepreneurs and job creators.
The Rural Prosperity Agenda supports local farmers as they fight to make ends meet in an unfair cattle market and ensures rural Iowans can access the care they need from their homes and cut costs for families.
This agenda will also help make telehealth options permanent and build on legislation that has already passed Congress and been signed into law by President Biden, like my Sgt. Ketchum Rural Veterans’ Mental Health Act that helps rural veterans access mental health care.
Most of all, it will cut through the bureaucratic red tape that prevents critical funds from actually being able to be used in the first place.
My goal is to make sure young people want to move to Iowa’s rural towns and counties and are able to open a business, start a family and have a good home.
As a fifth-generation Iowan, I know our rural communities are the backbone of our state, and I will continue to do everything I can to ensure they get their fair share.
Rep. Cindy Axne of West Des Moines represents Iowa’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She can be reached at 202-225-5476.