Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) took the Biden White House to task Friday over its backtracking from yet another federal policy contained in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act.
The IRS released new proposals Friday that would lower the total of qualifying vehicles for the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. However, restrictions in place to promote U.S. sourcing for critical minerals needed in batteries would also be loosened.
The Daily Wire noted last year that under these rules, only about 21 of the current 72 EV models sold in the U.S. would qualify for the full $7,500 tax credit. The New York Times reported that under the new sourcing requirements to take effect April 18, that number diminishes further.
The West Virginia moderate went so far as to threaten legal action before the new guidance from the U.S. Treasury was released.
He warned that “if it goes off the rails” in opposition to the August climate legislation he was intimately involved with, he may sue. “I will do whatever I can — if that means going to court and I can do it, I’d do it,” Manchin said.
Manchin Blasts Biden Admin Over New EV Tax Credit Regulations https://t.co/YXWhvEdD3t
Manchin trusted Democrats & they screwed him
They're Violating the rules of the Bill that he helped get passed.
— Athena Cruz (@kjfkugkujvj) April 1, 2023
After the new guidance was issued, the senator accused the administration of continuing to turn its back on the purpose of the Inflation Reduction Act. He said it was to “bring manufacturing back to America and ensure we have reliable and secure supply chains.”
He called this newest action a “pathetic excuse.”
Manchin said it only accomplishes spending more U.S. tax dollars and “further cedes control to the Chinese Communist Party in the process.”
His primary concern appeared to be the relaxing of requirements for battery mineral sourcing. At least 40% of critical materials for the EV batteries must be domestically sourced or originate in nations with a free trade agreement with the U.S., according to the Inflation Reduction Act.
The New York Times reported, however, that criteria in the new regulations changed to include nations with a separate Critical Minerals Agreement with the U.S.
That effort seemed particularly targeted at Japan, which only signed the agreement with Washington on Tuesday. Critics say the rule also allowed more countries to be sources for critical materials.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Wednesday, Manchin accused the White House of being determined to “violate and subvert the law to advance a partisan agenda.” This he said, ignored the nation’s energy and financial security in the process.