Capitol Commentary - December 2008

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Capitol Commentary

By Maggie Hershey, senior director, Public Policy, SEMI North America

The countdown is on . . . 41 days until Inauguration. After 21 months of active campaigning, it is time to start acting on the policy priorities discussed on the campaign trail, including some that are near and dear to the industry’s heart. Check out articles in this U.S. Public Policy Update about what to expect from the new Administration and Congress over the next few months as well as some reflections on the past year.

The Obama transition team is working fast and furious and every day seems to bring new developments and nominations for key posts. In addition to staffing, transition team members are reviewing agencies to get up to speed on policies and programs, pending milestones and deadlines for the next year and other issues to ease the changeover. For more information on the transition, please visit

SEMI had reached out to campaign advisors during the year and recently met with key technology advisors as part of a coordinating effort among the Presidents of leading high tech trade associations. Click here for SEMI’s policy recommendations to the transition team. These efforts will continue through January 20. Once they are confirmed, SEMI will continue working with political appointees in key agencies relevant to the industry, such as the Department of Commerce and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Since the election also brought several new Members of Congress, SEMI will be reaching out to them as well. Please consider a trip to Washington to join us.

Clearly an early priority for the incoming Obama Administration will be passage of an economic stimulus package. SEMI supports including pro-business tax provisions such as accelerated depreciation and lower tax rates for repatriated corporate income as a way to give a much needed boost to companies’ bottom line.

SEMI is pleased to see that congressional leadership is pushing for inclusion of “green” provisions in the stimulus package. SEMI is working to promote policies related to photovoltaics in this legislation. Click here to learn more. And check out our interview with John Lushetsky, the Solar Energy Technology Program manager at the Department of Energy.

Coming to Washington for the Inauguration? Please let us know. The SEMI Washington office would love to see you. And you might want to join a few hundred other technology-minded citizens at an inaugural gala for the Technology Serving Humanity initiative.

Posted on December 9, 2008