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Tipsheet

The White House Admits It Was Completely Wrong About CHIPS Act Claim, but Still Hasn't Corrected the Record

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

After signing the CHIPS Act into law earlier this month, which aims to increase domestic chip production, President Biden claimed it would lead to “more than $1 million construction jobs alone over the next 6 years building semiconductor factories in America.” It turns out, that figure is completely wrong.

A White House official said it was a “mix up,” but this number was not something Biden said off-script. He said it in official remarks while signing the bill, then tweeted the statement from his official Twitter account.

Since Biden cited “an analysis” to support the claim, The Washington Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler asked to see it and was pointed to a 2021 Semiconductor Industry Association report, which is hardly a neutral source.

When we dug into the report, moreover, we could not find any reference to 1 million construction jobs being created. Instead, the report predicted such an investment — roughly equivalent to the Chips Act — would create “an average of 185,000 temporary jobs annually throughout the U.S. economy from 2021 to 2026.”

Six times 185,000 adds up to more than 1 million. But note that these are not all construction jobs. In fact, few are construction jobs.

“The statement about 1 million construction jobs is not accurate,” said Sarah Ravi, a spokeswoman for the association. She directed us to a chart in the report that indicated that a $50 billion investment would create an additional 6,200 construction jobs. (The Washington Post)

Needless to say, Kessler gave the claim "four Pinocchios." It was not simply a "mix up," as the White House claimed. "It was an egregious lie which fooled a lot of people," our colleagues at Hot Air point out, and one which has not been corrected by removing the tweet or updating the official record. 

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