Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) blasted the Biden administration again on Friday for seemingly reneging on another policy from the $740 billion Inflation Reduction Act.
In a statement Friday, Manchin blasted the Biden administration’s newly-implemented regulations for the electric vehicle tax credit. The IRS proposed new rules Friday that would reduce the number of vehicles which qualify for the $7,500 tax credit, but it would also loosen the restrictions for critical minerals supplied to make the batteries.
“Yet again – the guidance released by the Department of the Treasury completely ignores the intent of the Inflation Reduction Act,” Manchin said. “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. American tax dollars should not be used to support manufacturing jobs overseas. It is a pathetic excuse to spend more taxpayer dollars as quickly as possible and further cedes control to the Chinese Communist Party in the process.”
“The guidance includes a 60-day comment period and I ask for every American to comment,” he added. “My comment is simple: stop this now – just follow the law.”
Manchin’s gripe seems to be specifically about one of the new regulations, which loosens some requirements for critical mineral sourcing. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, in order to qualify for the $7,500 tax credit, at least 40% of the critical materials needed in the battery must come from domestic sources or countries that have a free trade agreement with the United States, The New York Times reported; but the new regulations loosen that requirement to include countries that have a separate Critical Minerals Agreement with the U.S. The proposed rule singles out Japan, which signed a Critical Minerals Agreement with the U.S. on Tuesday. The new rule also paves the way for more countries to be included in that list.
The Daily Wire reported in 2022 that only about 21 vehicles of the 72 electric car models currently on the road would qualify for the full $7,500 tax credit. The New York Times projected that when the new sourcing requirements go into effect on April 18, even fewer vehicles will qualify for the full credit.
Manchin, who provided the critical vote that pushed the Inflation Reduction Act over the line in 2022, has been sore all week about how the Biden administration has implemented the law. “[I]nstead of implementing the law as intended, unelected ideologues, bureaucrats and appointees seem determined to violate and subvert the law to advance a partisan agenda that ignores both energy and fiscal security,” Manchin wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday. “Specifically, they are ignoring the law’s intent to support and expand fossil energy and are redefining ’domestic energy’ to increase clean-energy spending to potentially deficit-breaking levels. The administration is attempting at every turn to implement the bill it wanted, not the bill Congress actually passed.”
In exchange for his vote, Manchin was also promised a side deal on oil and gas permitting reform by Senate Democratic leadership, but that deal has since fallen apart.
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Former Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) predicted in July that Manchin would be disappointed by the bill. “I think he got taken to the cleaners,” Toomey said. “He’s agreeing to all this bad policy.”