Democrat opposes Biden on electric vehicle rule

 April 8, 2023

House Democrat Don Beyer (Va.) is coming out against the Biden administration's controversial new guidance on electric vehicle tax credits.

New Treasury guidelines undercut Congress's power over trade policy, Beyer said, joining a bi-partisan group of critics who say Biden is stretching his authority.

The comments show the challenges with implementing the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which Biden has touted as the most ambitious "climate" bill in history.

Democrat opposes EV rule

The Treasury rules require half of the value of an EV's battery components to be made or assembled in North America to qualify for a $3750 tax credit. Another $3750 tax credit is available if 40 percent of critical minerals come from the U.S. or one of its trade partners.

Supporters of Biden's climate agenda are dismayed about the complex rules, which will make fewer electric cars eligible for the tax credit.

Others have accused Biden of ignoring what the Inflation Reduction Act actually says by pursuing his own definition of "free trade."

Biden has independently sought trade deals with Japan and Europe to boost the supply of EV minerals. Beyer said the unilateral approach jeopardizes Biden's climate agenda in the long run.

“Changing the basic definition of free trade agreements for the purposes of skirting Congress’s intent in the Inflation Reduction Act, even for laudable climate and diplomatic goals, could easily be reversed by a future administration and set our climate agenda back immeasurably,” Beyer said.

Manchin sounds off

Beyer isn't the only Democrat to complain about Biden's rule.

Senator Joe Manchin (Wv.), who was instrumental in passing the Inflation Reduction Act, has complained that Biden's rules conflict with the law's advertised goal of building up the manufacturing base for electric vehicles in America.

“It is horrific that the administration continues to ignore the purpose of the law which is to bring manufacturing back to America and ensure we have reliable and secure supply chains,” Manchin said in a statement. "American tax dollars should not be used to support manufacturing jobs overseas.”

Biden has set an ambitious goal to phase out fossil fuels, but it looks like he's struggling to get his own party on the same page.

With any luck, the dissension will continue and slow down Biden's "green revolution."

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