Sen. Bernie Sanders (Ind.-Vt.) has given his Senate colleagues and President Joe Biden an ultimatum on a proposed $53 billion giveaway to microchip companies: hold a vote on amendments requiring the companies receiving the subsidies to spend them on domestic manufacturing or lose Sanders’ vote, which is needed to move the bill forward quickly through unanimous consent
Congress wants to buttress domestic semiconductor manufacturing in response to pandemic-induced shortages — but as Sanders noted in a recent Senate speech, the highly profitable chip industry doesn’t need money.
“Mr. President, providing $53 billion in corporate welfare to an industry that has outsourced tens of thousands of jobs to low-wage countries and spent hundreds of billions on stock buybacks with no strings attached may make sense to some, but it does not make sense to me,” Sanders said in his speech.
Over the last decade, five U.S. semiconductor giants spent 70 percent of their profits manipulating their share prices through stock buybacks, The Lever previously reported.
As a condition of his support, Sanders introduced two bill amendments designed to prevent semiconductor companies from using the subsidies to reward executives and shareholders.