Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Rep. Elissa Slotkin Discusses Microchip Shortage, Infrastructure and Flooding

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Rep. Slotkin says our supply chain has failed, but there is bipartisan support for bringing manufacturing to the United States.

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Automakers are losing a lot of money this year because of a shortage of microchips. These silicon microchips are about the size of a thumbnail, but they are vital conductors used in virtually every electronic device, from personal computers to toasters.

The important thing is, it comes from a long, decades-long habit of sole sourcing things for cars from other countries where we can’t control the supply chain.” —Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly)

The shortage comes after the pandemic when, among other factors, many companies sent desk workers to work from home leading to an increase in demand for electronic devices. Because so many microchips are used in cars, auto manufacturers have delayed distribution of certain cars and stopped factories from operating. This has hurt the auto industry, while increasing the demand for secondhand cars.


Listen: Rep. Elissa Slotkin talks about bipartisan support for creating stronger domestic preference laws.


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Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) represents Michigan’s Eighth Congressional District. Slotkin says when she was in Lansing, visiting an auto plant in her district, another plant’s workers were given a hiatus because of the microchip shortage. “We’ve seen results, look at the price of a car. Anyone who’s tried to buy even a used car has seen how it affected the market,” she says. “The important thing is, it comes from a long, decades-long habit of sole sourcing things for cars from other countries where we can’t control the supply chain.”

Slotkin also says there is bipartisan support for creating stronger domestic preference laws. She believes it needs to happen by incentivizing companies to bring additional manufacturing to the U.S.“The climate is right, but it is work and this is why we set up a task force, a bipartisan task force, in Congress to look just specifically at legislation to deal with this issue.” 

There’s no perfect bill that’s ever existed. And I think what people need to keep their eyes on is that this is a significant amount of money on top of a significant amount of money that we’ve had to spend because of COVID. We need to be able to account for it.” —Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly)

Slotkin comments on the Senate bipartisan infrastructure deal and says she supports it. She points out that the bill has significant spending on water infrastructure. “That’s everything from wastewater sewage, upgrading our treatment plants,” she says. “Michigan, our thing is water, and we are focused on it more than anybody.” 

According to Slotkin, it is important to pursue bipartisanship, especially when Congress is spending large sums of money as it will with the infrastructure deal. “There’s no perfect bill that’s ever existed. And I think what people need to keep their eyes on is that this is a significant amount of money on top of a significant amount of money that we’ve had to spend because of COVID. We need to be able to account for it.”

Web story written by Dan Netter.

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