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Texas lawmakers call for passage of CHIPS Act funding

The bill incentivizes semiconductor producers to do business in the U.S. and could potentially fuel an unprecedented expansion for Samsung in Central Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas lawmakers issued a call for Congress to finally pass funding for the "CHIPS" Act. 

The bill incentivizes semiconductor producers to do business in the U.S., but the funding bill has been stalled.

On Friday, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan sent a letter to U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul saying the bill would allow Texas to create more high-income, high-skill jobs. 

"The U.S. Congress now has the opportunity to build on our state's success by passing the CHIPS Act of 2022. If passed, the legislation would further improve our competitive advantage in an increasingly important semiconductor industry, spur additional investment in our manufacturing capability and allow Texas to add even more high-income, highly-skilled jobs to our workforce," Phelan wrote in the letter.

McCaul also issued a letter calling for the legislation's passage. 

“I am proud to have joined Rep. Matsui as the original sponsors of The Chips Act. It’s been a long process, but this national security legislation will ensure we manufacture semiconductors – the brains behind everything from cell phones to fighter jets – right here in America," McCaul said in part. 

The act could fuel an unprecedented expansion for Samsung in Central Texas. The company has filed paperwork to build as many as 11 new semiconductor factories between Austin and Taylor – nearly $200 billion in new investment. Documents show the massive investment would create more than 10,000 jobs. 

That's in addition to the $17 billion factory in Taylor already in the works. 

City of Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell spoke about what that kind of massive investment would mean for the community. 

"There's an energy and enthusiasm, of course, tempered by some trepidation about the fear of the unknown, because, you know, we've never experienced anything like this before certainly in our community," he said. "I'm not sure there's many places in the world that have had something on the scale of an investment approaching potentially $200 billion."

The state tax incentive program that has helped Samsung and many other companies build in Texas are called Chapter 313 and it's expiring at the end of the year. Many companies have filed Chapter 313 applications to keep their options open for future projects, ultimately meaning nothing is set in stone at this point. 

Samsung, if it chooses, could take the plans for the factories to another state in the future, but the CHIPS Act funding could create more incentives for companies, like Samsung, to do business in the U.S. and Texas specifically.

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