Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo has accused Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of playing politics with U.S. national Security by threatening to block the CHIPS Act.
“Congress needs to pass the CHIPS Act,” she said in an interview Sunday, referring to one of two bills that would increase the domestic supply of semiconductors and also start a supply chain office in the Department of Commerce.
McConnell said last week that he wasn’t going to allow Republicans to move on that legislation as long as President Joe Biden continues to push a budget reconciliation bill.
When asked if that means the CHIPS bill is dead, Raimondo replied, “It shouldn’t be dead. Why can’t we do both? What’s in that reconciliation bill? Allowing Medicare to negotiate for drug prices. What will that do? Bring down the prices of medicine for the average American consumer”.
Speaking with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week, the Secretary noted that there are profound national security implications in not addressing the chips shortage, saying, “He’s playing politics with our national security and it’s time for Congress to do its job on both of those dimensions.”
Raimondo pointed to legislation in Congress to build domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips as a concrete step that needs to be taken to bring down prices for the American people.
This legislation would create thousands of good-paying jobs and address the chips shortage that has driven prices higher on cars and many other products.
Senator McConnell is now attempting to hold that legislation hostage to block another crucial effort to lower prices on prescription drugs for the American people, the Secretary noted.
She said, “The President wakes up every day pushing us and his team and Congress, what more can we do to bring down prices? So let’s bring down prescription drug prices, so that people feel that when they go to the drugstore and also let’s pass the CHIPS Act to bring down the prices of chips, which will bring down the price of pretty much everything you buy, because everything includes chips.”
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