On August 25, 2022, President Biden announced a new Executive Order (“EO”) addressing the Implementation of the CHIPS Act of 2022 (“CHIPS Act”).  The CHIPS Act was signed by President Biden on August 9, 2022, and, among other things, authorizes $39 billion in funding for new projects to establish semiconductor production facilities within the United States.  The new EO identifies the Administration’s implementation priorities for this CHIPS Act funding and creates the CHIPS Implementation Steering Council to aid with the rollout of administrative guidance.  In connection with the EO, the Department of Commerce launched CHIPS.gov, which is intended to be a centralized resource for potential applicants of CHIPS funding.  The EO and new website reflect the Administration’s intent to swiftly implement the CHIPS Act and increase the domestic production of semiconductors. 

First, the EO identifies the Administration’s implementation priorities, including (1) protecting taxpayer resources; (2) meeting economic, sustainability, and national security needs; (3) ensuring long-term leadership in the microelectronic sector; (4) catalyzing private-sector investments; (5) generating high-skilled, well-paying jobs; (6) increasing opportunities for disadvantaged businesses and communities; and (7) expanding regional manufacturing and innovation ecosystems.  These additional priorities expand on the policy objectives first expressed by Congress in the text of the CHIPS Act. 

Second, the EO creates a CHIPS Implementation Steering Council within the Executive Office of the President.  The Council will be made up of the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, OMB Director, National Cyber Director, and SBA Administrator, among others.  The Council will be responsible for coordinating policy development efforts, as the statutory requirements of the CHIPS Act requires input from a wide variety of agencies.  The Steering Council will also be assisted in this effort by the Industrial Advisory Committee, which was previously established in 2021 to provide advice on domestic microelectronics R&D and manufacturing. 

Last, as noted above, the Commerce Department has also published the CHIPS.gov website.  The website currently identifies the EO implementation priorities, and the Department’s initial guidance (released in July 2022) on taxpayer protections it intends to implement when allocating CHIPS Act funds.  The Commerce Department intends for this website to be a central resource for all information related to the implementation of the CHIPS Act.

In sum, President Biden has directed a whole-of-government effort to implement the CHIPS Act in a manner that comports with legislative and executive policy objectives.  We expect more developments in this space soon, as the Administration continues to pivot from the initial setup stages towards public regulatory guidance, and will continue to monitor developments as they occur. 

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Photo of Jennifer Plitsch Jennifer Plitsch

Jennifer Plitsch is co-chair of the firm’s Government Contracts practice group. Her practice includes a wide range of contracting issues for large and small businesses in both defense and civilian contracting. Her practice involves advising clients on contract proposal, performance, and compliance questions…

Jennifer Plitsch is co-chair of the firm’s Government Contracts practice group. Her practice includes a wide range of contracting issues for large and small businesses in both defense and civilian contracting. Her practice involves advising clients on contract proposal, performance, and compliance questions as well as transactional and legislative issues. Her practice also includes bid protest and contract claims and appeals litigation before GAO, agency boards and the federal courts. Ms. Plitsch has particular expertise in advising clients in the pharmaceutical and biologics industry. She advises a range of pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturers on Federal Supply Schedule contracts, including the complex pricing requirements imposed on products under the Veterans Health Care Act, as well as research and development contracts and grants with various federal agencies. She also has significant experience advising on the requirements of various programs under which vaccine products and biodefense medical countermeasures are procured by the Government.

Photo of Michael Wagner Michael Wagner

Mike Wagner helps government contractors navigate high-stakes enforcement matters and complex regulatory regimes.

Combining deep regulatory knowledge with extensive investigations experience, Mr. Wagner works closely with contractors across a range of industries to achieve the efficient resolution of regulatory enforcement actions and government…

Mike Wagner helps government contractors navigate high-stakes enforcement matters and complex regulatory regimes.

Combining deep regulatory knowledge with extensive investigations experience, Mr. Wagner works closely with contractors across a range of industries to achieve the efficient resolution of regulatory enforcement actions and government investigations, including False Claims Act cases. He has particular expertise representing individuals and companies in suspension and debarment proceedings, and he has successfully resolved numerous such matters at both the agency and district court level. He also routinely conducts internal investigations of potential compliance issues and advises clients on voluntary and mandatory disclosures to federal agencies.

In his contract disputes and advisory work, Mr. Wagner helps government contractors resolve complex issues arising at all stages of the public procurement process. As lead counsel, he has successfully litigated disputes at the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, and he regularly assists contractors in preparing and pursuing contract claims. In his counseling practice, Mr. Wagner advises clients on best practices for managing a host of compliance obligations, including domestic sourcing requirements under the Buy American Act and Trade Agreements Act, safeguarding and reporting requirements under cybersecurity regulations, and pricing obligations under the GSA Schedules program. And he routinely assists contractors in navigating issues and disputes that arise during negotiations over teaming agreements and subcontracts.

Photo of Holly Fechner Holly Fechner

Holly Fechner advises clients on complex public policy matters that combine legal and political opportunities and risks. She leads teams that represent companies, entities, and organizations in significant policy and regulatory matters before Congress and the Executive Branch.

She is a co-chair of…

Holly Fechner advises clients on complex public policy matters that combine legal and political opportunities and risks. She leads teams that represent companies, entities, and organizations in significant policy and regulatory matters before Congress and the Executive Branch.

She is a co-chair of the Covington’s Technology Industry Group and a member of the Covington Political Action Committee board of directors.

Holly works with clients to:

  • Develop compelling public policy strategies
  • Research law and draft legislation and policy
  • Draft testimony, comments, fact sheets, letters and other documents
  • Advocate before Congress and the Executive Branch
  • Form and manage coalitions
  • Develop communications strategies

She is the Executive Director of Invent Together and a visiting lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She serves on the board of directors of the American Constitution Society.

Holly served as Policy Director for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) and Chief Labor and Pensions Counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee.

She received The American Lawyer, “Dealmaker of the Year” award. in 2019. The Hill named her a “Top Lobbyist” from 2013 to the present, and she has been ranked by Chambers USA – America’s Leading Business Lawyers from 2012 to the present.

Photo of Peter Terenzio Peter Terenzio

Mr. Terenzio advises contractors across a broad range of different issues. His practice includes bid protests, contract claims and disputes, regulatory counseling, and internal investigations.

Before joining the firm, Mr. Terenzio clerked for Chief Judge Susan G. Braden of the Court of Federal Claims.

Anna Menzel

Anna Menzel has experience working closely with government contractors to resolve a broad range of U.S. Government contracting issues.

Anna’s practice includes counseling contractors regarding compliance with procurement and grant regulations, flow-down requirements, and non-traditional agreements with the U.S. Government. She represents contractors…

Anna Menzel has experience working closely with government contractors to resolve a broad range of U.S. Government contracting issues.

Anna’s practice includes counseling contractors regarding compliance with procurement and grant regulations, flow-down requirements, and non-traditional agreements with the U.S. Government. She represents contractors in bid protests and regularly advises clients on transactional matters involving government contractors including performing due diligence, negotiating transaction documents, and assisting with post-closing activities.

Anna routinely writes on issues related to government contracts compliance and other policy issues.