Federal government stays mother while Manchin Biden Law kills
The Prime Ministerâs Office has nothing to say about a key US Senatorâs decision to suspend President Joe Bidenâs controversial EV incentives.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a key Democratic MP in the equally-divided Senate, confirmed today that he is a “no” to the $ 1.75 trillion Build Back Better bill.
The law provides for up to $ 12,500 in tax credits for U.S.-assembled electric vehicles built with union workers – a devastating blow to the Canadian auto industry.
The plan has been high on the agenda of countless federal ministers and officials, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself, in several face-to-face and virtual meetings over the past few weeks.
However, when the officers in Trudeau’s office are breathing a little easier, they refuse to say it – probably in part because the pardon may only be temporary.
After months of meeting with colleagues and officials from Capitol Hill to the White House, including Biden himself, Manchin explained his position in an interview with Fox News.
“This is a ‘no’ to this legislation,” said Manchin, whose main concerns were the real price of the “mammoth” climate and social spending package, as well as its likely impact on a soaring inflation rate.
And as a senator in a state where Toyota is a major employer, he’s admitted he’s not crazy about the electric vehicle tax credit system, either.
As a Democrat in a state that supported Donald Trump by a wide margin in the 2020 elections, Manchin – even running for re-election in 2024 – was a focal point for every step of Biden’s legislative agenda.
He said the combination of rampant inflation, rising federal debt, “geopolitical turmoil” and a seemingly resurgent COVID-19 pandemic means now is not the time for so much spending.
Federal government stays mom when @Sen_JoeManchin says “no” to @JoeBiden EV tax credit bill. #USPoli #EVTaxCredit
“I can’t vote to go ahead with this law. I just can’t,” said Manchin. âI’ve tried everything humanly possible.
The news sparked a harrowing reaction from the White House.
“As Senator Manchin changed his position on Build Back Better this morning, we will continue to pressurize him to see if he will change his position again to keep his previous commitments and stay true to his word,” said press secretary Jen Psaki. said in a statement.
Psaki said Manchin had even proposed an alternative framework for the bill to Biden – “important priorities are missing,” Psaki said without elaborating – and vowed to keep the discussions going.
“If his comments on Fox and his written statement put an end to these efforts, they will be a sudden and inexplicable reversal of his position and a breach of his obligations to the President and fellow Senators in the House and Senate.”
Canada had warned senators that it would launch a spate of retaliatory tariffs and suspend certain elements of the US-Mexico-Canada trade deal if the tax credit plan were implemented.
The proposal would put a 34 percent tariff on electric vehicles assembled in Canada and violate the USMCA, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Commerce Secretary Mary Ng wrote in a letter to the Senate leadership.
Manchin’s declaration is likely to buy Canada valuable time, especially given the chance Republicans will win control of the Senate and possibly even the House of Representatives after the 2022 midterm elections.
But the White House isn’t giving up just yet.
“We will not slack off in the struggle to help Americans with their childcare, health care, prescription drug costs and elderly care – and to combat climate change,” said Psaki.
“We’ll find a way to move forward next year.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 19, 2021.