WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator JD Vance (R-OH) grilled Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing over the Biden administration’s diversity mandates dictating the hiring practices of companies seeking funding under the CHIPS Act.
Watch Senator Vance’s remarks here and below:
Senator Vance: “I’m struggling to make sense of the fact that we apparently have a shortage of skilled labor to manufacture chips on the one hand, and yet the Secretary of Commerce is telling people that they can only hire the people who check the right diversity boxes. That doesn’t make a ton of sense. And it seems to be counterproductive to the goal of bringing this industry back to the United States in the first place.
“What would you call it when the Secretary of Commerce says you must do this in order to receive funding? If it’s not a mandate, what is it? … ‘They have to show us a workforce plan in order to receive money from the federal government,’ that is the definition of a mandate. You must do X in order to receive Y dollars. Let me make this point, Secretary Raimondo. Think about this from the perspective of a company that is thinking about locating a chip fabrication facility in this country or in China.
“From China, they get cheap labor, massive subsidies, and a government that seems to want to work with them. From the United States, they get a little bit of money and a human resources statement that looks like it was written by a 22-year-old gender studies graduate of Harvard or Yale, which let’s be honest, it probably was written by a 22-year-old gender studies graduate of Harvard or Yale. Why would you locate your facility in the United States of America when you get a human resources lecture from us, but from China, you get a whole lot of money and a whole lot of facilitation for your business? What’s the market economy here? Is it the economy that makes it hard to do business or easier to do business?”