Press Releases

WASHINGTON – As the Biden administration works to establish two crucial semiconductor initiatives authorized by CHIPS and Science Act, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) are leading eight of their colleagues in urging the U.S. Department of Commerce to take full advantage of the contributions, assets, and expertise available in states nationwide.

In a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the Senators advocate for a decentralized “hub-and-spoke” model for the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) and the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP). This model would establish various centers of excellence around the country, as opposed to a single centralized facility that is limited to the resources and strengths of a single state or region.

“Allowing the NSTC and NAPMP to draw upon experts, institutions, entrepreneurs, and private-sector partners spread across the country would best position these programs to fulfill their missions of driving semiconductor and advanced packaging research forward, coordinating and scaling up the ongoing workforce development efforts, promoting geographic diversity, and ensuring long-term U.S. competitiveness in this critical technology sector,” wrote the lawmakers.

They continued, “Such a model would allow them to draw upon the strengths of experts, research facilities, and private-sector partnerships and consortia from across the country. This model would consist of central research facilities with centers of excellence in various locations across the country where there is particular expertise in memory, logic, packaging, testing, or other elements of the semiconductor ecosystem.”

In their letter, the Senators also note that this approach was recommended by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology in a report to President Biden. This report stated, “the Secretary of Commerce should ensure the NSTC founding charter includes establishing prototyping capabilities in a geographically distributed model encompassing up to six centers of excellence (COEs) aligned around major technical thrusts.” 

The NSTC and NAPMP – designed to accelerate U.S. semiconductor production and advance research and development – were championed by Sens. Warner, Cornyn, and Kelly, who authored the CHIPS law signed by President Biden in August. In addition to Sens. Warner, Cornyn and Kelly, the letter was signed by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

A copy of the letter can be found here and below.

October 14, 2022

Dear Secretary Raimondo,

As the Department of Commerce begins implementing the CHIPS and Science Act, we respectfully urge your department to consider using a decentralized, so-called “hub-and-spoke” model as the basis for the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) and the National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP). Allowing the NSTC and NAPMP to draw upon experts, institutions, entrepreneurs, and private-sector partners spread across the country would best position these programs to fulfill their missions of driving semiconductor and advanced packaging research forward, coordinating and scaling up the ongoing workforce development efforts, promoting geographic diversity, and ensuring long-term U.S. competitiveness in this critical technology sector.

When Congress passed the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act in January 2021 and funding of $11 billion in the recently-passed CHIPS and Science Act, it recognized the need for increased investment in research and development (R&D). This R&D will include prototyping of advanced semiconductor tools, technology, and packaging capabilities to advance both U.S. economic competitiveness and the security of our domestic supply chain.

The NSTC was established as a way to drive this research forward, bringing together the Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the private sector in a public-private consortium. Congress created the NAPMP to “strengthen semiconductor advanced test, assembly, and packaging capability in the domestic ecosystem” in coordination with the NSTC.

Incredibly diverse knowledge and expertise will be required to ensure that the NSTC and NAPMP are successful. We believe that it would be in the best interests of the long-term success of these programs if the Department of Commerce was to embrace a “hub-and-spoke” model for these programs. In fact, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology recommended such an approach in their report to President Biden titled, “Revitalizing the U.S. Semiconductor Ecosystem.” The report states, “The Secretary of Commerce should ensure the NSTC founding charter includes establishing prototyping capabilities in a geographically distributed model encompassing up to six centers of excellence (COEs) aligned around major technical thrusts.”  Such a model would allow them to draw upon the strengths of experts, research facilities, and private-sector partnerships and consortia from across the country. This model would consist of central research facilities with centers of excellence in various locations across the country where there is particular expertise in memory, logic, packaging, testing, or other elements of the semiconductor ecosystem. Doing so would ensure that a broader range of expertise is captured by the NSTC and NAPMP and ensure entrepreneurs and researchers across the country can take advantage of these programs to drive America’s semiconductor ecosystem forward.

Thank you for your consideration and for all of the work that you and your team are doing to implement this important legislation.

Sincerely,

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plan to ban new sales of Chinese-based Huawei and ZTE technologies on the bases of national security:

“Several years ago a bipartisan group of senators on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence began raising the alarm about the threat that Huawei and ZTE posed to our national security. I’m proud of the steps that Congress has since taken to confront this challenge, including passing Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 – which I co-wrote to incentivize carriers to replace Huawei and ZTE equipment in their networks. I’m glad to see the Federal Communications Commission finally take this step to protect our networks and national security.”

Sen. Warner, a former telecommunications entrepreneur, has long been outspoken about the dangers of allowing the use of Huawei equipment in U.S. telecommunications infrastructure and that of U.S. allies.

Last year, Sen. Warner, joined by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), introduced legislation to prohibit federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act from being used to purchase Chinese telecommunications equipment, including from Huawei and ZTE. In 2020, Sen. Warner and a bipartisan group of leading national security Senators introduced legislation to encourage and support U.S. innovation in the race for 5G, providing over $1 billion to invest in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers Huawei and ZTE.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued a statement after President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act into law:

“The Chips and Science Act will lower costs for families, strengthen our national security, and create good-paying manufacturing jobs here in the United States, and I’m proud to have shepherded it into law.”

Nearly everything that has an “on” switch – from cars to phones to washing machines to ATMs to electric toothbrushes – contains a semiconductor, but just 12 percent of these ‘chips’ are currently made in America. The CHIPS and Science Act includes $52 billion in funding championed by Sen. Warner to manufacture chips here on American soil – a move that will increase economic and national security and help America compete against countries like China for the technology of the future.

Sen. Warner, co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus and former technology entrepreneur, has long sounded the alarm about the importance of investing in domestic semiconductor manufacturing. Sen. Warner first introduced the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act in June 2020 along with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued a statement after the House of Representatives voted 243-187-1 to approve the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, a historic bill to incentivize domestic manufacturing of semiconductors and improve U.S. technological competitiveness:

“I first began sounding the alarm about the need to reduce our reliance on other nations and safeguard our national security by bringing semiconductor production back to the U.S. more than two years ago. Since then, we’ve seen the consequences of semiconductor shortages all the way up the supply chain and down to consumers, who have faced rising costs on a variety of goods both large and small.

“This bipartisan bill will lower costs for families, strengthen our national security, and create good-paying manufacturing jobs here in the United States. I am glad that after years of unnecessary delay, it is finally being sent to the President’s desk.”

On Tuesday, Sen. Warner spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate, urging his colleagues to pass the chips bill. Video of that speech is available for download here.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement after the Senate voted 64-33 to approve legislation to increase domestic semiconductor manufacturing and boost U.S. innovation and scientific investment:

“It’s been more than two years since I first began sounding the alarm about the need to reduce our reliance on other nations and safeguard our national security by bringing semiconductor production back to the U.S. Since then, we’ve seen the consequences of semiconductor shortages all the way up the supply chain and down to consumers, who have faced rising costs across goods – from vehicles to electronics. While we still have a lot of work to do to boost U.S. competitiveness with China, the Senate passage of this legislation represents an important step in bringing back American manufacturing, shoring up U.S. innovation, and reducing costs for families. I urge my House colleagues to act like our economy and national security depends on it, and send this bill to the President’s desk without delay.”

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) led a bipartisan group of colleagues in reintroducing the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act, legislation that will encourage market-based competition to dominant social media platforms by requiring the largest companies to make user data portable – and their services interoperable – with other platforms, and to allow users to designate a trusted third-party service to manage their privacy and account settings, if they so choose. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) joined Sen. Warner in introducing the legislation.

“The tremendous dominance of a handful of large social media platforms has major downsides – including few options for consumers who face a marketplace with just a few major players and little in the way of real competition,” the senators said. “As we learned in the Microsoft antitrust case, interoperability and portability are powerful tools to restrain anti-competitive behaviors and promote innovative new companies. By making it easier for social media users to easily move their data or to continue to communicate with their friends after switching platforms, startups will be able to compete on equal terms with the biggest social media companies. Additionally, empowering trusted custodial companies to step in on behalf of users to better manage their accounts across different platforms will help balance the playing field between consumers and companies. In other words – by enabling portability, interoperability, and delegatability, this bill will create long-overdue requirements that will boost competition and give consumers the power to move their data from one service to another.”

Online communications platforms have become vital to the economic and social fabric of the nation, but network effects and consumer lock-in have entrenched a select number of companies’ dominance in the digital market and enhanced their control over consumer data. 

The Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act would increase market competition, encourage innovation, and increase consumer choice by requiring large communications platforms (products or services with over 100 million monthly active users in the U.S.) to:

  • Make their services interoperable with competing communications platforms.
  • Permit users to easily port their personal data in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
  • Allow users to delegate trusted custodial services, which are required to act in a user’s best interests through a strong duty of care, with the task of managing their account settings, content, and online interactions.  

“Markets work when consumers have a choice and know what's going on. The ACCESS Act is an important step toward reestablishing this dynamic in the market for tech services. We must get back to the conditions that make markets work: when consumers know what they give a firm and what they get in return; and if they don't like the deal, they can take their business elsewhere. By giving consumers the ability to delegate decisions to organizations working on their behalf, the ACCESS Act gives consumers some hope that they can understand what they are giving up and getting in the opaque world that the tech firms have created. By mandating portability, it also gives them a realistic option of switching to another provider,” Paul Romer, New York University Professor of Economics and Nobel Prize winner in Economics, said.

“Interoperability is a key tool for promoting competition on and against dominant digital platforms. For social networks in particular, interoperability is needed to make it easy for users to switch to a new social network. Until we have clear and effective interoperability requirements, it will be hard for users to leave a social network that fails to reflect their values, protect their privacy, or offer the best experience. Whatever our reasons for switching to a new social network, the ACCESS Act can make it easier by requiring the largest platforms to offer interoperability with competitors. We all stand to benefit from the greater competition that an interoperable world can create,” Charlotte Slaiman, Competition Policy Director at Public Knowledge, said.

"We now understand that the dominant tech platforms' exclusive control over the data we create as we interact with them is the source of extraordinary market power. That power distorts markets, reduces innovation and limits consumer choice. By requiring interoperability, the ACCESS Act empowers consumers, levels the playing field and opens the market to competition. Anyone who believes that markets work best when consumers are able to make informed choices should support this Act,” Brad Burnham, Partner and Co-Founder at Union Square Ventures, said.

“The reintroduction of the ACCESS Act in the Senate is a critically important step forward for empowering consumers with the freedom to control their own data and enable consumers to leave the various walled gardens of the today’s social media platforms. The ACCESS Act literally does what it says—it would give consumers the option to choose better services without having to balance the unfair choice of abandoning their personal network of family and friends in order to seek better products in the market.  The Senate needs to move forward as soon as possible to vote on the ACCESS Act.” Eric Migicovsky, Founder and CEO of Beeper, said.

Sen. Warner first introduced the ACCESS Act in 2019 and has been raising concerns about the implications of the lack of competition in social for years.

Sen. Warner is one of Congress’ leading voices in demanding accountability and user protections from social media companies. In addition to the ACCESS Act, Sen. Warner has introduced and written numerous bills designed to improve transparency, privacy, and accountability on social media. These include the Safeguarding Against Fraud, Exploitation, Threats, Extremism and Consumer Harms (SAFE TECH) Actlegislation that would allow social media companies to be held accountable for enabling cyber-stalking, targeted harassment, and discrimination across platforms; the Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data (DASHBOARD) Act, bipartisan legislation that would require data harvesting companies to tell consumers and financial regulators exactly what data they are collecting from consumers and how it is being leveraged by the platform for profit; and the Deceptive Experiences to Online Users Reduction (DETOUR) Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation that would prohibit large online platforms from using deceptive user interfaces, known as “dark patterns,” to trick consumers into handing over their personal data and would prohibit these platforms from using features that result in compulsive usage by children.

Full text of the bill is available here. One-pager of the legislation is available here.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), one of the Senators tasked with negotiating the U.S. jobs and competitiveness package, released the following statement after the Senate moved to begin negotiations between the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, following a series of procedural votes:

“It has taken the Senate far too long to get to this point, but I’m pleased to finally have the green light to start these critical negotiations. This package stands to bring manufacturing back to the U.S., create good-paying jobs, and propel our innovation economy forward. I look forward to a productive series of negotiations and will work to get this bill to President Biden’s desk as soon as possible.”

In April, Sen. Warner, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was selected to serve on the conference committee of Senators and House members working to reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of the jobs and competitiveness bill. This bill has been known variously as the Bipartisan Innovation Act, America COMPETES Act, the United States Innovation and Competition Act, and the Endless Frontier Act.

Once the conference committee comes to an agreement on a final version of the bill, the House and Senate will each vote on whether to send that bill to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.  

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WASHINGTON —U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) today led the Virginia congressional delegation in calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to consider Virginia for future locations of major semiconductor production and research facilities — as efforts to fund the CHIPS for America Act continue.

In a letter  sent to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Warner, Spanberger and the entire Virginia congressional delegation urged the Department to recognize the role Virginia can play in strengthening the American semiconductor industry and creating new jobs in this key sector. Specifically, they called on Secretary Raimondo to consider Virginia as the site for the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC) and National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP) — two initiatives established by the CHIPS for America Act that would be funded by legislation currently under consideration by Congress.

The letter was also signed by U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and U.S. Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA-08), Ben Cline (R-VA-06), Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11), Bob Good (R-VA-05), Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09), Elaine Luria (D-VA-02), A. Donald McEachin (D-VA-04), Bobby Scott, (D-VA-03), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10), and Rob Wittman (R-VA-01).

“Thank you for your work to strengthen American semiconductor manufacturing, and the Department of Commerce’s efforts with Congress to pass the CHIPS for America Act. As Congress works to fully fund the important programs authorized by the law, we write to express our strong support for considering Virginia for sites to establish the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP), and other federal investments in semiconductor research and manufacturing,” said the Virginia Members.

In their letter, the Virginia Members also outlined Virginia’s longstanding leadership in the semiconductor industry, as well as the reasons why Virginia’s economy would be best suited for these new centers.

The Virginia Members continued, “Virginia’s leading technology workforce and semiconductor manufacturing presence make the Commonwealth an ideal location for future federal investments in semiconductor research and manufacturing. Virginia has the second highest concentration of technology workers in the US, and net technology employment in Virginia grew by more than 27,000 jobs between 2010 and 2019. Virginia also has strong education infrastructure, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) degrees and credentials. In 2019-20, Virginia’s public and private nonprofit colleges and universities awarded 122,869 degrees and certificates in areas such as health care, business, education, information technology and other demand fields.”

Virginia is already home to multiple shovel-ready sites that are ready to support new semiconductor manufacturing, research, and development. This preparation was outlined by the Henrico Economic Development Authority and the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors backing this Spanberger-Warner effort to secure these sites.

“We are ready. Thanks to the hard work of Rep. Spanberger and Sen. Warner to move the CHIPS Act forward, Henrico and the Commonwealth of Virginia are poised for semiconductor investment.  We have a long history of innovation in the semiconductor industry, and with our robust infrastructure, shovel ready sites, and talented workforce we are ready to meet the needs of the semiconductor industry,” said Anthony J. Romanello, Executive Director, Henrico Economic Development Authority.

“Securing advanced manufacturing is critical to growing local, regional and state economies, which is why Chesterfield has taken a strategic approach to be ready when opportunities knock. This expands into our prepared and ready workforce and streamlined planning and permitting processes, which make it easy to do business in Chesterfield. We’ve worked with our economic and community development professionals to determine what’s needed and where, and we’re positioning Chesterfield to be a desired and leading location in attracting technology and other advanced manufacturing to the Commonwealth. We appreciate Sen. Warner and Rep. Spanberger for supporting this effort in Virginia,” said Chris Winslow, Chairman, Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors.

Full text of the letter is available here and below.

Dear Secretary Raimondo,

Thank you for your work to strengthen American semiconductor manufacturing, and the Department of Commerce’s efforts with Congress to pass the CHIPS for America Act. As Congress works to fully fund the important programs authorized by the law, we write to express our strong support for considering Virginia for sites to establish the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NSTC), National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP), and other federal investments in semiconductor research and manufacturing.

We appreciate the Department of Commerce’s leadership in convening business leaders and government officials to address supply chain disruptions and semiconductor chip shortages. These issues are at the heart of rising prices that are impacting Americans’ pocketbooks. Additionally, investing in domestic semiconductor manufacturing is crucial for US global competitiveness and national security. As such, we strongly support robust funding for the CHIPS Act, and believe Virginia is uniquely positioned to effectively leverage federal investments to strengthen domestic manufacturing.

Virginia’s leading technology workforce and semiconductor manufacturing presence make the Commonwealth an ideal location for future federal investments in semiconductor research and manufacturing. Virginia has the second highest concentration of technology workers in the US, and net technology employment in Virginia grew by more than 27,000 jobs between 2010 and 2019. Virginia also has strong education infrastructure, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) degrees and credentials. In 2019-20, Virginia’s public and private nonprofit colleges and universities awarded 122,869 degrees and certificates in areas such as health care, business, education, information technology and other demand fields.

In addition to the Commonwealth’s highly prepared workforce, there are several shovel-ready sites in Virginia that are eager to support new manufacturing, research, and development. Multiple leading semiconductor manufacturing companies, such as Micron Technology and GeneSiC, have already chosen Virginia for large investments, such as for new semiconductor manufacturing plants, or expanding operations. Virginia has been named the “Top State for Business” five times since CNBC began ranking states for doing business in 2007, most recently ranking first in 2021. For these reasons, Virginia is strongly suited to be a responsible steward of federal investments in domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research, and promote U.S. global competitiveness in this key sector.

We continue to strongly support the Department’s work in promoting domestic semiconductor production and research, and we urge you to consider Virginia for the NSTC, NAPMP, and other investments as the Department implements the CHIPS for America Act. Thank you for your full and fair consideration of this request, consistent with applicable agency guidelines. 

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WASHINGTON – Today it was announced that U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, will serve on the conference committee of Senators and House members working to reconcile differences between the House and Senate version of the jobs and competitiveness bill, which has been known variously as the Bipartisan Innovation Act, America COMPETES Act, the United States Innovation and Competition Act, or the Endless Frontier Act, in order to send a final bill to President Biden’s desk for signature.

“For too long, the United States has allowed our global competitors to out-invest and out-hustle us in regard to our innovation economy. This competitiveness bill will make major investments in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, create good-paying jobs, and provide the tools our country needs to continue competing in the global economy while addressing some of the major causes of economic inflation,” said Sen. Warner. “I am honored to be a member of the conference committee that will work to get a strong bill to the president’s desk ASAP.”

“The Senate is moving an important step closer to delivering a robust jobs and competitiveness bill that will help fix our supply chains and boost American innovation and technological dominance for generations. Our Democratic conferees will ensure that the Senate-passed bill stays on track to create more good-paying jobs, boost domestic manufacturing, and spark American ingenuity that will be the engine that drives our economy forward for years to come,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

In June, the Senate voted 68-28 to pass the United States Innovation and Competition Act, bipartisan legislation that includes Warner-led provisions to foster U.S. innovation in the race for 5G and shore up American leadership in the semiconductors industry. In February, the House finally acted to pass its own version of the bill, the America COMPETES Act. Now, a small group of House members and Senators will form a conference committee to negotiate differences between the two bills and assemble a final product to send to President Biden.

Earlier today, Sen. Warner joined Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) in leading the Virginia congressional delegation in calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to consider Virginia for future locations of major semiconductor production and research facilities.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released the following statement applauding the Senate for taking an important procedural step to pass an American competitiveness package known as the United States Innovation and Competition Act or America COMPETES Act:

“For too long, the United States has allowed our global competitors to out invest us in regard to our innovation economy. This competitiveness bill makes major investments in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, creates good-paying jobs, and provides the tools our country needs to continue competing in the global economy. I am glad the Senate has voted to pass the amended version of this legislation, and I am hopeful that the Senate and House will conference quickly so that we can finally send this legislation to the President’s desk.”

 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement today:

“Earlier today, the U.S. Commerce Department reported that manufacturers that rely on semiconductor chips have less than five days’ supply on hand, leaving vital supply chains extremely vulnerable to delays that are increasing prices for consumers on everything from automobiles to home appliances. Months ago, the Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, which would invest $52 billion in domestic semiconductor production, by an overwhelming bipartisan vote. The Senate bill also invests in R&D for 5G technologies and takes other critical steps to secure our supply chains, improve innovation, and ensure that the U.S. can compete with China and the rest of the world. Today’s introduction in the House of Representatives of the America COMPETES Act is an important step in setting up a conference with the Senate so that we can finally get a bill to President Biden’s desk to sign.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the statement below regarding the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC) to expand and deepen trade and transatlantic investment ties for the 21st century economy:

“I am pleased to see the announcement of the inaugural U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council Meeting. For several years now, I have been leading calls to update our approach to digital trade, working with like-minded allies to develop rules to reflect and uplift democratic values. For too long, the U.S. position on digital trade has been to promote continued laissez faire, even as we saw the downsides of this approach to technology governance over recent years. I am hopeful that Secretary Blinken, Secretary Raimondo and Ambassador Tai will work with our European allies to update our digital trade policies to promote innovation, privacy, competition, and consumer protection.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the statement below, following a report that Facebook disabled the accounts of researchers studying political ads on the social network: 

“This latest action by Facebook to cut off an outside group’s transparency efforts – efforts that have repeatedly facilitated revelations of ads violating Facebook’s Terms of Service, ads for frauds and predatory financial schemes, and political ads that were improperly omitted from Facebook’s lackluster Ad Library – is deeply concerning. For several years now, I have called on social media platforms like Facebook to work with, and better empower, independent researchers, whose efforts consistently improve the integrity and safety of social media platforms by exposing harmful and exploitative activity. Instead, Facebook has seemingly done the opposite. It’s past time for Congress to act to bring greater transparency to the shadowy world of online advertising, which continues to be a major vector for fraud and misconduct.”

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WASHINGTON — Senators Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) introduced the American Telecommunications Security Act to prohibit federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act from being used to purchase Chinese telecommunications equipment, including from Huawei and ZTE. 

Text of the bill may be found here.

“With states across the country mapping out their plans for quality and affordable high-speed internet as a result of historic funding from the American Rescue Plan, we’ve got to make sure no community is sacrificing network security,” said Warner. “That’s why I’m joining Sen. Cotton on a bipartisan bill to ensure states do not purchase equipment or services from companies that pose national security risks – such as Huawei and ZTE.” 

"American tax dollars should not be sent to Chinese spy companies like Huawei that undermine our national security. The U.S government must take strong action to cut the Chinese Communist Party out of our networks. Americans deserve both reliable and secure telecommunications technologies," said Cotton.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement upon the release of a congressionally-mandated declassified report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP):

“I was first briefed on these unidentified aerial phenomena nearly three years ago. Since then, the frequency of these incidents only appears to be increasing. The United States must be able to understand and mitigate threats to our pilots, whether they’re from drones or weather balloons or adversary intelligence capabilities. Today’s rather inconclusive report only marks the beginning of efforts to understand and illuminate what is causing these risks to aviation in many areas around the country and the world.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) applauded the House Judiciary Committee after it advanced their bipartisan bill, the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act, which encourages market-based competition to dominant social media platforms by requiring the largest companies to make user data portable – and their services interoperable – with other platforms.

“Americans have grown increasingly frustrated with feeling locked in to a small handful of online platforms to communicate with friends and family, share photos and video, and consume online content. With choices limited to a few dominant platforms – and ones often insensitive to consumers’ privacy, content, or platform security expectations – we believe consumers should have the ability to move their data from one platform to another without having to start from scratch. We also believe that there should be more robust competition in this space to help foster more innovation and address the network effects of the largest platforms. With the House Judiciary Committee advancing the ACCESS Act, we are one step closer to ensuring we promote innovation and competition in this country.”

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) today slammed Facebook for failing to remove vaccine misinformation from its platforms. The rapid spread of dangerous misinformation across social media could hamper the efforts of public health officials as they work to vaccinate hard-to-reach communities and hesitant individuals, representing a serious concern for public safety. Studies show that roughly 275,000 Facebook users belong to anti-vaccine groups on the platform. 

“As public health experts struggle to reach individuals who are vaccine hesitant, epidemiologists warn that low rates of vaccine rates coupled with the relaxing of mask mandates could result in new COVID-19 outbreaks,” the senators wrote in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “Moreover, most public health officials agree that because herd immunity in the U.S. is now unlikely, ‘continued immunizations, especially for people at highest risk because of age, exposure or health status, will be crucial to limiting the severity of outbreaks, if not their frequency’. In short, ‘vaccinations remain the key to transforming the virus into a controllable threat’.” 

A recent report from Markup.org’s “Citizen Browser project” found that there are 117 active anti-vaccine groups on Facebook. Combined, the groups had roughly 275,000 members. The study also found that Facebook was recommending health groups to its users, including anti-vaccine groups and pages that spread COVID-19 misinformation and propaganda.

The lawmakers asked Zuckerberg a series of questions, including why users were recommended vaccine misinformation; how long anti-vaccine groups and pages remained on the platform before being taken down; and what specific steps the company is taking to ensure its platforms do not recommend vaccine misinformation to its users.

A copy of the letter can be found here and below:

 

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

We write to express our concern over recent reporting alleging that Facebook failed to remove vaccine misinformation from its platforms. As the U.S. struggles to reach vaccine hesitant individuals and the world grapples with new variants, it is more important than ever that social media companies such as Facebook ensure that its platforms are free from disinformation.

In a February 2021 blog post, Facebook promised to expand “the list of false claims [it] will remove to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines. This includes claims such as: COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured; Vaccines are not effective at preventing the disease they are meant to protect against; It’s safer to get the disease than to get the vaccine; [and] Vaccines are toxic, dangerous or cause autism.” According to data from the Markup.org’s “Citizen Browser project,” misinformation regarding COVID-19 and vaccines are readily available on Facebook. According to Madelyn Webb, a senior researcher at Media Matters, as late as April 2021, she found 117 active anti-vaccine groups on Facebook. Combined, those groups had roughly 275,000 members. Even more troubling is the finding that Facebook “continued to recommend health groups to its users, including blatantly anti-vaccine groups and pages explicitly founded to propagate lies about the pandemic.” As public health experts struggle to reach individuals who are vaccine hesitant, epidemiologists warn that low rates of vaccine rates coupled with the relaxing of mask mandates could result in new COVID-19 outbreaks. Moreover, most public health officials agree that because herd immunity in the U.S. is now unlikely, “[c]ontinued immunizations, especially for people at highest risk because of age, exposure or health status, will be crucial to limiting the severity of outbreaks, if not their frequency.” In short, “vaccinations remain the key to transforming the virus into a controllable threat.”

In March 2021, Senator Warner wrote to you expressing these same concerns. Your April 2021 response failed to directly answer the questions posed in his letter. Specifically, you failed to respond to a question as to why posts with content warnings about health misinformation were promoted into Instagram feeds. Given Facebook’s continued failure to remove vaccine misinformation from its platforms, we seek answers to the following questions no later than July 5, 2021.

1.    In calendar year 2021, how many users viewed vaccine-related misinformation? 

2.    In calendar year 2021, how many users were recommended anti-vaccine information or vaccine-related misinformation? 

a.    Why were these users recommended such information?

3.    In calendar year 2021, how many vaccine-related posts has Facebook removed due to violations of its vaccine misinformation policy? How many pages were removed? How many accounts were removed? How many groups were removed?

a.    On average, how long did these pages or posts remain on the platform before Facebook removed them?  

4.    What steps is Facebook taking to ensure that its platforms do not recommend vaccine-related misinformation to its users? Please be specific. 

5.    What steps is Facebook taking to ensure that individuals who search out anti-vaccine content are not subsequently shown additional misinformation?

6.    In March 2019, Facebook said it would stop recommending groups that contained vaccine-related misinformation content. It wasn’t until February 2021 that the company announced it would remove such content across the platform. Why did it take Facebook nearly a year to make this decision? 

Thank you in advance or your prompt response to the above questions. 

Sincerely, 

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WASHINGTON – Today U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and member of the Senate Finance Committee, joined his colleagues Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Mike Crapo (R-ID), Ranking Member of the Finance Committee, Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Steve Daines (R-MT), in introducing the Facilitating American-Built Semiconductors (FABS) Act to strengthen supply chains and create good-paying jobs in America by incentivizing domestic manufacturing of critical semiconductor technology.  

“There’s bipartisan consensus that the U.S. must bolster investments in emerging technologies – like semiconductors – to be better positioned to compete against China’s tech dominance. However, the reality is that the U.S. heavily relies on semiconductor manufacturing abroad, which not only leaves our supply chains vulnerable but it also means we’re offshoring too many good-paying jobs,” said Sen. Warner. “That’s why I joined my colleagues on this bipartisan bill, which will build on the record $52 billion investment included in the bipartisan United States Innovation and Competition Act, by incentivizing companies to bring these critical manufacturing facilities back to the U.S. in order to create more job opportunities in our communities and strengthen our national security.”

The share of global semiconductor production in the U.S. has dropped significantly from 37 percent in 1990 to just 12 percent today. Semiconductor production is increasingly concentrated overseas, with 75 percent of global production now in East Asia. As much as 70 percent of the cost difference for producing semiconductors overseas is driven by foreign subsidies, rather than comparative advantages. The bill would help close that gap by incentivizing production of semiconductors in the United States.

Specifically, the Facilitating American-Built Semiconductors (FABS) Act would create a 25 percent investment tax credit for investments in semiconductor manufacturing, both for manufacturing equipment and the construction of semiconductor manufacturing facilities. The proposal includes incentives for the manufacturing of semiconductors, as well as for the manufacturing of the specialized tooling equipment required in the semiconductor manufacturing process. Taxpayers could elect to receive the tax credit as a direct payment, and must make this election before their facility or equipment is placed in service. To provide certainty and predictability for taxpayers, the credit would be permanent.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed the United States Innovation and Competition Actwhich includes several Warner-led provisions to foster U.S. innovation and shore up American leadership in the microelectronics industry. The bill includes $52 billion to implement the CHIPS for America Act a bipartisan law championed by Sen. Warner – which called for a similar incentive tax credit included in the FABS Act – to help restore semiconductor manufacturing back to American soil. That legislation now awaits action by the House of Representatives. 

A copy of the bill text can be found here. A one-page summary can be found here.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement on President Biden’s executive order on protecting sensitive data from foreign adversaries:

“This executive order by the Biden administration adopts a risk-based, transparent, and comprehensive approach to evaluating the security and privacy risks of foreign technology products, a clear contrast to the previous administration’s uncoordinated approach on this issue. I look forward to working with the administration and my colleagues on ways in which we can codify these approaches to better ensure long-term consistency and predictability in our national policies in this area.”

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued a statement on the Senate’s passage today of the United States Innovation and Competition Act, bipartisan legislation that includes Warner-led provisions to foster U.S. innovation in the race for 5G and shore up American leadership in the microelectronics industry: 

“America’s innovation in semiconductors undergirds our entire innovation economy. A wide array of products – from planes and automobiles to household appliances and small ‘smart’ devices – rely on these chips, and demand is only growing. But for too long, the U.S. has allowed competitors like China to out-invest us. No more. This bill makes a major, $52 billion investment in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, which will create good-paying jobs in America while maintaining our global innovation edge,” said Sen. Warner. “I am encouraged that this bill passed the Senate today on a broadly bipartisan basis, and strongly encourage our colleagues in the House to take it up and send it to the President’s desk without delay.” 

The United States Innovation and Competition Act – also known by an earlier name, the Endless Frontier Act – would help invest in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, packaging and advanced research and development by investing $52 billion to implement the CHIPS for America Act, a bipartisan law championed by Sen. Warner to help restore semiconductor manufacturing back to American soil. Semiconductors power modern technology, including cars, computers, smartphones and an increasing number of internet-connected ‘smart’ devices as varied as laundry machines to toothbrushes. A current production shortage of chips has backed up manufacturing supply lines in the United States, with major automobile manufacturers projecting $110 billion in lost sales this year due to factories sitting idle while waiting for components, and increased costs for goods such as televisions and home appliances dependent on imported semiconductors being passed on to U.S. consumers. Demand for semiconductors is expected to continue to grow, as internet connectivity and software processing is added to an ever-wider array of consumer, enterprise, and industrial products, services, and systems.  

The United States Innovation and Competition Act also includes funding for the bipartisan Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act, legislation Sen. Warner introduced to support U.S. innovation in 5G and provide alternatives to Chinese equipment providers like Huawei and ZTE, which are heavily subsidized by the Communist Party of China and present serious risks to national security and the integrity of information networks globally.

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement on the disclosure by Microsoft of a Russian hacking operation targeting USAID and other government agencies, think tanks, consultants, and non-governmental organizations :

“We have to step up our cyber defenses, and we must make clear to Russia – and any other adversaries – that they will face consequences for this and any other malicious cyber activity.” 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, took to the Senate floor today in support of the United States Innovation and Competition Act, bipartisan legislation that includes Warner-led provisions to foster U.S. innovation in the race for 5G and shore up American leadership in the microelectronics industry. This speech comes one day after the Senate reached a bipartisan deal with a procedural vote to move forward with the legislation.

The United States Innovation and Competition Act – also known by an earlier name, the Endless Frontier Act – would help invest in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, packaging and advanced research and development by investing $52 billion to implement the CHIPS for America Act, a bipartisan law championed by Sen. Warner to help restore semiconductor manufacturing back to American soil. Semiconductors power modern technology, including cars, computers, smartphones and an increasing number of internet-connected ‘smart’ devices as varied as laundry machines to toothbrushes. A current production shortage of chips has backed up manufacturing supply lines in the United States, with major automobile manufacturers projecting $110 billion in lost sales this year due to factories sitting idle while waiting for components, and increased costs for goods such as televisions and home appliances dependent on imported semiconductors being passed on to U.S. consumers. Demand for semiconductors is expected to continue to grow, as internet connectivity and software processing is added to an ever-wider array of consumer, enterprise, and industrial products, services, and systems.

The semiconductor industry, while we’ve seen some sliding, still represents one of the shining lights of our country’s innovation economy. And as a wider array of products and services depend on internet connectivity and software processing, the demand for semiconductors has only grown. Unfortunately, that leadership position we’ve had for so long is at stake,” said Sen. Warner on the floor of the U.S. Senate. So the CHIPS Act, which was baked into the Endless Frontiers Act, directs agencies like the Department of Commerce, in consultation with others like our Intelligence Community, to make investments in microelectronics R&D a priority.”

He continued, “It emphasizes the need for multilateral effort with our allies and close trading partners to bring greater transparency and accountability to subsidies. It alignspolicies towards non-transparent, non-market competitors like the Chinese, and it makes sure that we have concerted and coordinated action both domestically and again, with our allies, on supply chain security and integrity. It invest billions in basic research related to advanced semiconductors, via DoD and a newly created National Semiconductor Technology Center – helping us maintain our lead in the design, prototyping, lithography and packaging of advanced microelectronics. And it makes an unprecedented investment in trying to build new foundries, fabs, and basic manufacturing facilities here in the United States so that we have that secure supply chain for the future.”

This crucial provision comes as the U.S. faces a decline in R&D and advanced manufacturing, including in advanced chip manufacturing. As Sen. Warner noted on the Senate floor, U.S. production of semiconductors and microelectronics has gone down from 37 percent in 1990 to just 12 percent today. By contrast, China has committed to invest $150 billion and produce at least 70 percent of semiconductors it consumes by 2030.

The United States Innovation and Competition Act also includes funding for the bipartisan Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act, legislation Sen. Warner introduced to provide Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers like Huawei and ZTE, which are heavily subsidized by the Communist Party of China and present serious risks to national security and the integrity of information networks globally. 

“I was proud to work with two of my colleagues, Senator Burr and Senator Rubio. We put up a Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund to spur movement towards open-architecture and ‘leap-ahead’ technologies in our domestic mobile broadband market,” said Sen. Warner. “I believe that so-called ‘Open RAN’ represents the single best approach to tackling the 5G challenge – opening the radio access network to competition from a wider array of players, including startups, non-traditional players like software companies, and enterprise networking companies. That approach plays to U.S. strengths like software and network virtualization. And it means we have a wider set of firms – including American firms with healthier balance sheets – competing against Huawei. Because one thing that’s been clear over the past two Administrations: Our anti-Huawei message won’t work unless the U.S. proposes lower-cost Western alternatives.”

With the U.S. funding less than 28 percent of global R&D – down from 69 percent after World War II – the Warner-led provision would put forth $1.5 billion to invest in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers and $500 million to work with close allies and trading partners on the development and adoption of secure and trusted wireless infrastructure globally.

Sen. Warner’s remarks as prepared for delivery are available below:

I rise today in support of the Endless Frontier Act – a long-overdue bipartisan effort to invest in our country’s innovation and competitiveness. 

I am pleased to see Congress finally taking action to shore up U.S. investment in the research, development, and manufacturing of critical technologies. 

Without intervention, China will continue to outpace and outperform us in the global technology race – impacting our country’s economic well-being, our global influence, and our national security.

In recent years, China has rapidly ramped up investment in its domestic industries – and particularly in areas that confer long-term strategic influence.    

For instance, China consistently increases its investment in the semiconductor industry, with a commitment to invest $150 billion and a goal to produce at least 70 percent of semiconductors it consumes by 2030.

And this is a global competition: South Korea, for instance, has pledged to invest over $130 billion over the next 9 years, while training 36,000 new microelectronics engineers and technicians.  And Germany and 18 other EU members announced investments of up to $60 billion in key hardware like semiconductors over the next few years.

By contrast, over the past 10 years only 17 major semiconductor fabs have been built in the U.S. – while we’ve seen over 122 built elsewhere. In absolute terms, we’ve actually seen the number of facilities in the U.S. decline – going from 81 production facilities a decade ago to 76 today.  And as a country we’ve gone from a 37% share of semiconductors and microelectronics production in 1990 to just 12% today.

In part, this is because the cost of new fabs is 25-50% higher in the U.S. – a delta, in major part, attributable to the significantly lower financial incentives government provides in the U.S. for new construction compared to in competing locales. 

And for its part, China doesn’t plan on taking its foot off the pedal any time soon. Last year, President Xi Jinping announced a $1.4 trillion commitment through 2025 to develop advanced technologies like next-generation wireless networks and artificial intelligence.  Technologies that will undergird entire ecosystems of innovation, commerce, and communications.

US semiconductor firms - and firms in the adjacent areas of lithography, packaging, and metrology – still lead the world. However, many of the key ingredients to our success… including federal support for R&D, investment in basic research, and support for advanced manufacturing… have declined over the last 20 years.

Simply put, we are just not keeping up.

Between 1995 and 2018, Chinese R&D investment increased by over 15 percent per year on average, compared to the United States, which averaged just over 3 percent growth per year over the same period.  

Despite once championing investment in R&D and technological advancements, we are losing ground.

After World War II, the United States funded 69 percent of annual global R&D. Today, we fund less than 28 percent, with only 7 percent going to non-defense technologies like wireless communications.

To get back to where we once were and reassert US technology leadership, we need to re-prioritize foundational technologies to maintain not just our country’s economic leadership, but to ensure that countries with inconsistent values and objectives aren’t able to leverage control over these foundational technologies in worrisome ways.

As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I have long been banging the drum about the ways that the PRC has taken advantage of what makes our country and our economic system so great – our openness, our transparency, our technology, and our free markets. 

The Chinese government, unfortunately, plays by a different set of rules.

The Chinese government is using all aspects of its society to increase China’s dominance– using all means at its disposal to establish its position as the world’s technology leader – often with opaque subsidies and financing that dramatically tilt the playing field towards Chinese vendors.

And unfortunately, for too many of these trading partners, the deal is simply too good to turn down… in part, because we haven’t worked, either on our own or better yet with our close allies, to offer a secure, competitively-priced alternative. 

That’s why this bill is so important. It includes funding for the bipartisan Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act, which fosters U.S. innovation in the race for 5G by providing $1.5 billion to invest in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers like Huawei and ZTE, and $500 million to work with close allies and trading partners on development and adoption of secure and trusted wireless infrastructure globally.

This is a bill I was proud to work on with my colleagues, Senator Burr and Senator Rubio.

And it would stand up a new Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund – to spur movement towards open-architecture, software-based wireless technologies, funding innovative, “leap-ahead” technologies in the domestic mobile broadband market.

I believe that so-call “Open RAN” represents the single best approach to tackling the 5G challenge – opening the radio access network to competition from a wider array of players, including startups, non-traditional players like software companies, and enterprise networking companies.

That approach plays to U.S. strengths like software and network virtualization. And it means we have a wider set of firms – including American firms with healthier balance sheets – competing against Huawei.

Because one thing that’s been clear over the past two Administrations: Our anti-Huawei message won’t work unless the U.S. proposes lower-cost Western alternatives. 

Crucially, this bill also, invests in domestic semiconductor manufacturing, packaging and advanced R&D, with a $52 billion investment in the CHIPS for America law we enacted last year as part of a bipartisan effort by Senator Cornyn, Senator Schumer, Senator Cotton and me.

The semiconductor industry represents one of the shining lights of our country’s innovation economy. And as a wider array of products and services depend on internet connectivity and software processing, the demand for semiconductors has only grown. Unfortunately, experts note that the U.S. lead over China is shrinking each year.

The Endless Frontier Act would serve as a major step in shoring up American leadership in the microelectronics industry. 

It directs – and empowers – key agencies like the Department of Commerce to make investments in microelectronics R&D a priority. 

It emphasizes the need for multilateral effort with our allies and close trading partners – bringing greater transparency and accountability to subsidies… aligning policies towards non-transparent, non-market competitors… and underlining the need for concerted action on supply chain security and integrity.

It invest billions in basic research related to advanced semiconductors, via DoD and a newly created National Semiconductor Technology Center –helping us maintain our lead in the design, prototyping, lithography and packaging of advanced microelectronics. 

And it makes an unprecedented investment in advanced manufacturing, with a focus on building new, advanced fabs in the United States to ensure a resilient and secure supply chain for the future. The $39 billion we provide in the form of investment incentives will mean that 7 to 10 new fabs are built here in the U.S. – something that will help ensure we never face the devastating supply chain constraints across a wide array of industries … from automotive to aerospace, biomedical, and other important sectors … that we have seen in the last year, stemming from a shortfall in semiconductor production. 

The Endless Frontier Act serves as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to solidify U.S. leadership in science and tech innovation, strengthen our national security, and reinvigorate American ingenuity.

I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in meeting this challenge and investing in America’s competitiveness.  

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WASHINGTON– Today, Virginia U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, urged President Joe Biden to fully consider how the Trump Administration’s decision to relocate U.S. Space Command may affect Intelligence Community (IC) dependencies and missions and the country’s ability to maintain superiority in space 

On January 13, 2021, the Administration announced that Huntsville, Alabama would be the permanent headquarters of U.S. Space Command. Following this announcement, reports surfaced that President Donald Trump politicized the process, choosing to relocate U.S. Space Command from its provisional headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

In a letter to President Biden, Bennet and Warner, members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, cite the collaboration and interoperability between the IC and Department of Defense, and urged the administration to review the process by which this decision was made and to ensure intelligence community missions and capabilities are fully considered.

“The Committee has encouraged collaboration in the space domain between the IC and the Department of Defense (DoD) in order to increase the unity of effort and effectiveness in space operations. In Colorado, important investments have been made in recent years to enhance this collaboration and interoperability, in particular at the National Space Defense Center (NSDC),” wrote the senators. “It is critical that any decision to move Space Command from its current location take into account the potential effects of such a move on the operational integration between the IC and DoD space communities at NSDC and at other joint sites in Colorado.”

The senators also noted the importance of spending resources in a manner that effectively meets the accelerating pace of threats to U.S. space capabilities. Colorado is already home to many specialized defense and intelligence civilian employees and contractors. The cost of relocating personnel, as well as the high costs for constructing a new Space Command headquarters, should be considerations for permanently keeping it in Colorado Springs. 

“Furthermore, we are keenly aware of the threats in space and the criticality of maintaining U.S. superiority in the face of an evolving threat landscape,” the Senators continued. “According to a 2019 estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, construction costs for the new command headquarters could be as high as $1.1 billion. Workforce disruption is another key consideration, given the many defense and intelligence civilian employees and contractors working on space programs in Colorado at the highest levels of classification. Space is a critical national security issue, and we cannot squander time, talent, or money on unnecessary expenditures or delays.” 

The text of the letter is available HERE and below.  

Dear President Biden:

We write concerning the Trump administration’s decision to move United States Space Command from Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Huntsville, Alabama. As members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, we are concerned this decision did not take into account how such a move may affect Intelligence Community (IC) dependencies and missions. We therefore request you review the process by which this decision was made, and to ensure IC equities are fully considered.

The Committee has encouraged collaboration in the space domain between the IC and the Department of Defense (DoD) in order to increase the unity of effort and effectiveness in space operations. In Colorado, important investments have been made in recent years to enhance this collaboration and interoperability, in particular at the National Space Defense Center (NSDC). It is critical that any decision to move Space Command from its current location take into account the potential effects of such a move on the operational integration between the IC and DoD space communities at NSDC and at other joint sites in Colorado.

Furthermore, we are keenly aware of the threats in space and the criticality of maintaining U.S. superiority in the face of an evolving threat landscape. We have consistently made this a priority in recent years, with careful oversight of dollars spent and an eye toward the allocation of scarce resources among national security priorities. According to a 2019 estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, construction costs for the new command headquarters could be as high as $1.1 billion. Workforce disruption is another key consideration, given the many defense and intelligence civilian employees and contractors working on space programs in Colorado at the highest levels of classification. Space is a critical national security issue, and we cannot squander time, talent, or money on unnecessary expenditures or delays.

We therefore ask you to review the parameters and method by which this decision was evaluated, to ensure we are appropriately valuing existing collaboration and interdependencies between the IC and DoD space communities in Colorado, taking advantage of the current co-location of these communities and pools of expertise, and spending resources in a manner that effectively meets the accelerating pace of threats to our overhead space capabilities.

We appreciate your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, joined Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden requesting that he fund the initiatives to restore semiconductor manufacturing to American soil from the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) for America Act that were signed into law as part of the FY21 National Defense Authorization Act. 

They wrote, “We write today to encourage you to prioritize securing funding to implement the initiatives authorized in the CHIPS for America Act that were enacted into law as part of the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. 

“We would specifically request you consider joining us in support of funding levels that are at least the authorized amounts proposed in the original bill as you work with Congress on a package of policies to better compete with China and how best to strengthen our country’s economic competitiveness and resiliency as well as national security.”

He was joined on the letter by Senators Tom Cotton (R-AK), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), James Risch (R-ID), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Angus King (I-ME), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Todd Young (R-IN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tim Scott (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). 

The full text of the letter is here and below.

Dear President Biden,

We write today to encourage you to prioritize securing funding to implement the initiatives authorized in the CHIPS for America Act that were enacted into law as part of the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (referred to as the ‘CHIPS provisions’). We would specifically request you consider joining us in support of funding levels that are at least the authorized amounts proposed in the original bill as you work with Congress on a package of policies to better compete with China and how best to strengthen our country’s economic competitiveness and resiliency as well as national security. 

While signing your Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains on February 24, 2021, we were pleased to hear your comments: “bipartisan work has already been done…We need to make sure these supply chains are secure and reliable. I’m directing senior officials in my administration to work with industrial leaders to identify solutions to this semiconductor shortfall and work very hard with the House and Senate.” We agree that the United States must build on the bipartisan Congressional efforts to authorize the CHIPS provisions and now swiftly move to fund these programs so they can be implemented and begin to address the current supply-chain vulnerabilities that threaten our national and economic security and ensure our nation’s continued global leadership in this critical technology. We are especially encouraged by the opportunity to do emergency mandatory funding for implementation of CHIPS as part of a competitiveness package the Senate is currently compiling, and would welcome your support in that effort.

The United States cannot wait to provide these resources over the years ahead. The halted production lines for consumer technology, auto manufacturers, truckers, and other critical industries due to a semiconductor shortage further highlights the pressing need to act quickly and fund the enacted bipartisan provisions. 

In your Build Back Better initiative, you recognized the value of restoring critical supply chains to U.S. soil to help revitalize our domestic manufacturing capacity and create good-paying jobs. Full funding and implementation of CHIPS would reinvigorate our economy by creating high-paying jobs, developing talent pipelines for American workers, and increasing technological innovation. The CHIPS provisions authorize funding for manufacturing, R&D and job-training programs, with a focus on creating pathways for Americans to acquire the skills necessary for these jobs, including expanding employment opportunities for disadvantaged workers. Ensuring these provisions are fully funded would support thousands of American jobs and create a ripple effect throughout the economy, benefiting countless industries, communities and working families.

In addition to enabling sustainable economic growth today, funding the CHIPS provisions is a top national security priority. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has aggressive plans to reorient and dominate the semiconductor supply chain, pouring over $150 billion in semiconductor manufacturing subsidies and investing $1.4 trillion in their efforts to become the dominate global technological power. Even full funding of the originally filed CHIPS provisions pales in comparison to the investments being made by the CCP, which speaks to why consideration of an even higher level of funding is worthwhile.

The United States must also work with our allies and strategic partners to out-scale the CCP in manufacturing capabilities for advanced semiconductors. If we lose these highly-skilled jobs and know-how to China, the United States will never recapture them. Further, we risk dependence on a strategic competitor for the advanced semiconductors that power our economy, military, and critical infrastructure.

As you develop your FY 2022 budget request, we encourage you to include some initial investments to support semiconductor R&D and manufacturing at agencies like Commerce, DOD, DOE, and NSF as intended by CHIPS. 

Finally, should you explore executive actions to address this urgent semiconductor matter, we encourage you to continue pursuing a technology neutral approach.

We are committed to meeting the national imperative of securing our critical supply chains and look forward to working with you and your Administration to achieve this vital objective.

Sincerely, 

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WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner, D-VA. and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., questioned eight digital advertising exchanges about the possible sale of Americans’ personal information to foreign-owned companies, in a series of letters sent yesterday with Senators Bill Cassidy, R-La., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. 

The senators are seeking information about the sharing of Americans’ data through “real time bidding” – the auction process used to place many targeted digital advertisements. For most online ads, although only one company wins the auction, hundreds of firms participating receive information about the potential recipient of the ad, including device identifiers and cookies, web browsing and location data, IP addresses, and age and gender.

“Few Americans realize that some auction participants are siphoning off and storing ‘bidstream’ data to compile exhaustive dossiers about them. In turn, these dossiers are being openly sold to anyone with a credit card, including to hedge funds, political campaigns, and even to governments,” the senators wrote. 

“This information would be a goldmine for foreign intelligence services that could exploit it to inform and supercharge hacking, blackmail, and influence campaigns,” they continued.

The letter was sent to AT&TIndex ExchangeGoogleMagniteOpenXPubMaticTwitter and Verizon.

The senators asked for answers to the following questions by May 4, 2021:

1.     Please identify the specific data elements about users, their devices, the websites they are accessing, and apps they are using that you provide to auction participants.

2.     Please identify each company, foreign or domestic, to whom your firm has provided bidstream data in the past three years that is not contractually prohibited from sharing, selling, or using the data for any purpose unrelated to bidding on and delivering an ad.

3.     If your firm has contractual restrictions in place prohibiting the sharing, sale, or secondary use of bidstream data, please detail all efforts to audit compliance with these contractual restrictions and the results of those audits.

4.     Please identify each foreign-headquartered or foreign-majority owned company to whom your firm has provided bidstream data from users in the United States and their devices in the past three years.

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