Las Vegas Sun

December 1, 2023

In Las Vegas, Cortez Masto touts manufacturing legislation

Cortez Masto Tours TemperPack

Steve Marcus

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., listens to Bob Beckler, TemperPack chairman and CEO, during a tour of the TemperPack Technologies facility Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022.

Cortez Masto Tours TemperPack

Richard Guy, director of operations at TemperPack, gives a tour of the manufacturing facility with Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. Launch slideshow »

At the TemperPack Technologies manufacturing facility in Sunrise Manor, Bob Beckler showed Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto the company’s sustainable insulated packaging that pharmaceutical and food companies like HelloFresh use.

The company, based in Virginia, is only 6 years old, and has grown from eight to 300 employees, said Beckler, the TemperPack chief operating officer. It is expanding its location on Flossmoor Street to accommodate the demand, and will begin looking for another location soon, Beckler said.

Cortez Masto wants TemperPack to be a mirror for the future in which more American companies manufacture their products in states like Nevada so that the U.S. can avoid blocks in the supply chain and compete economically with countries like China.

She hopes legislation that the House of Representatives started discussing Tuesday could help bring that future to fruition.

“You’re in a facility right now in Southern Nevada that manufactures, that does manufacturing here in the state of Nevada,” Cortez Masto said. “This is American made, built here in Las Vegas, and it is made out of renewable materials. This is the opportunity that I have been fighting for at a federal level.”

The Innovation and Competition Act, a $250 billion bill the Senate passed in June, would include $52 billion to increase semiconductor production and about $190 billion to improve U.S. research and technology in order to compete with China.

The House’s version of the bill — the America COMPETES Act — cuts out about $200 billion of the Senate’s bill. While the House bill does not include almost $200 billion for research and technology, it does include $45 billion to support supply chain resilience and manufacturing of goods, industrial equipment and manufacturing technology.

“The proposals laid out by the House and Senate represent the sort of transformational investments in our industrial base and research and development that helped power the United States to lead the global economy in the 20th century and expand opportunity for middle class families,” President Joe Biden said in a statement Tuesday. “They’ll help bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States, and they’re squarely focused on easing the sort of supply chain bottlenecks like semiconductors that have led to higher prices for the middle class.”

Semiconductors, also known as “chips,” are essential components in electronic devices. They are necessary for automobiles, computers, smart phones and medical machines. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a shortage of semiconductors, creating major backlogs for manufacturers.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo called on Congress to pass the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act to help the semiconductor supply chain.

“With sky-rocketing demand and full utilization of existing manufacturing facilities,” Raimondo said in a statement Tuesday, “it’s clear the only solution to solve this crisis in the long-term is to rebuild our domestic manufacturing capabilities. President Biden has proposed $52 billion to revitalize our domestic semiconductor industry, and every day we wait on this funding is a day we fall further behind. But if we address this problem, we can create good jobs, rebuild American manufacturing, and strengthen our supply chains here at home for years ahead.”

Cortez Masto hopes the bill will pass in the House this week, she said. Then Congress can put together the final package and send it to the president’s desk for his signature.

“This is another piece of legislation that brings big investments to our state, opportunities to grow businesses and really bring the supply chain back here, manufacture products here in our country, in Nevada,” Cortez Masto said.