Despite a 50-50 Senate and being halfway through an election year, Congress is moving several significant pieces of legislation with major impact to the business community. Last week, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia surprised many observers when he announced he had come back to the table on a spending bill that includes punitive tax increases on employers and price controls on certain industries. In response, the US Chamber’s senior vice president Neil Bradley noted that, “taxes that discourage investment and price controls that limit innovation will make our current economic problems worse. Congress should reject these policies and focus on unleashing American made energy.”
The US Chamber is also opposing proposed antitrust legislation that 70% of voters believe is the wrong approach, according to a recent poll. The poll reveals that more than anything else, voters want Congress focused on the economy (30%) and inflation (28%). And only 1% of voters think Congress should prioritize regulating technology companies, making it one of the lowest overall priorities for voters. The PA Chamber signed on to a coalition letter earlier this summer, along with dozens of state and local chambers across the country, opposed proposed antitrust legislation that significantly departs from precedent and that would harm consumers.
Finally, legislation making major investments into support for domestic semiconductor manufacturing and science research is on its way to the President’s desk. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 last week, with bipartisan votes in both chambers. The legislation seeks to bolster supply chain resilience and address a shortage of semiconductor chips that has plagued manufacturers of telecommunications, appliances, automobiles, computers and other key industries. In a statement, the US Chamber said, “Today’s passage of the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act sends a clear message to companies at home and around the globe—the American people are ready and able to make the necessary investments to spur economic growth, increase manufacturing, and safeguard our national security.”