U.S. Election Results a Mixed Bag for Electronics Industry

by Ken Schramko, senior director, North American Government Relations

The results are in from the recent U.S. federal election, and the impacts on the electronics manufacturing industry are likely to be mixed.

It’s important to emphasize that IPC is a non-partisan organization. We work with and cultivate relationships with lawmakers in both parties, seeking to share relevant information about our industry and advocate for the enactment of pro-business laws and policies. We will always continue to work with both sides.

As has been widely reported, the 2022 elections were unusual because the party in charge of the White House, which usually loses congressional seats in a midterm election, actually gained a seat in the Senate and did not experience the anticipated tsunami of defeats in the House.

That said, control of the House now shifts to the Republicans, which means new leadership of every committee and new priorities on the legislative schedule. The narrow margin of their majority means the Republicans will be challenged to keep every member in line on major votes.

In the Senate, the Democrats will continue to be in charge, but the same caveat applies about the fragility of a slim majority.  

How will the policy agenda change? In the House, Republican leaders have signaled their intention to pursue tougher oversight for various Biden administration programs, including CHIPS Act implementation, and to cut federal non-defense spending wherever possible.  House leaders also plan to create a Select Committee on China, which is sure to become an arena for debates over how to change relations with China.   

The biggest implication is that in an era of divided government, very few pieces of legislation reach enactment, and gridlock is inevitable on all but a handful of “must-do” items such as appropriations to keep the government running and the annual National Defense Authorization Act. IPC’s legislative advocacy work for the next two years is likely to be geared toward proposing language in these must-pass bills and/or generating longer-term support of our industry on both sides of the aisle.

Meanwhile, a growing portion of our attention is focused on the Executive Branch, especially the departments of Commerce and Defense, which have leading roles in policy decisions about CHIPS Act implementation and the electronics supply chain.

As always, IPC’s Government Relations Team will continue to seek opportunities to educate, inform and influence policymakers on both sides of the aisle. But the active involvement of IPC members like you makes a huge contribution to our advocacy effort. If you’re interested in politics and government policy, we invite you to learn more and plan to be involved in IPC advocacy in 2023.