Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia criticized the Biden administration’s implementation of its signature climate law, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), for putting an “ideological agenda” ahead of fiscal responsibility, in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal Wednesday evening.
Despite his initial opposition, the West Virginian aided the IRA’s passage after extracting concessions, ultimately joining fellow Democrats in a party-line vote after negotiating with top Democrats to reduce the cost of the bill to limit inflation. Manchin criticized the administration for violating the spirit of the bill — which was originally forecasted by administration analysts to cost roughly $370 billion in tax breaks and other green subsidies, but private sector estimates now price at closer to $1.2 trillion — in the WSJ.
“[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 said. “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. … Ignoring the debt and deficit implications of these actions as the time nears to raise the debt ceiling isn’t only wrong, it’s policy and political malpractice.”
The president has the power, today, to direct his administration to follow the law, as well as to sit down with congressional leaders and negotiate meaningful, serious reforms to the federal budget. Read more in @WSJ: https://t.co/D1BnWPBZAW
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) March 29, 2023
The Biden administration — which has promoted the IRA as a tool to boost U.S. manufacturing via tax credits and benefits for electric vehicles — is expected to issue guidance Friday that would allow some foreign electric vehicles to qualify for tax credits if they are leased to U.S. clients instead of sold, according to The Washington Post. The administration is also negotiating for a trade deal with the European Union that would allow E.U. firms to qualify for IRA tax credits, drawing the ire of U.S. manufacturing unions.
The administration made a similar deal with Japan earlier this week, Reuters reported. The administration views these deals as a way to reduce U.S. reliance on China — who currently dominates the global market for both electric vehicles and minerals — for its supply of critical minerals and resources.
Manchin called for the Biden administration to “stop redefining” the credits and subsidies offered by the IRA, and that failing to do so would cost taxpayers “hundreds of billions of dollars in needless spending.” Manchin also threatened to go to court over the administration’s attempts to “screw [him] on this” by allowing foreign firms to qualify for IRA tax credits, he said in an interview with Axios Wednesday.
“The president has the power, today, to direct his administration to follow the law, as well as to sit down with congressional leaders and negotiate meaningful, serious reforms to the federal budget,” Manchin wrote in the WSJ. “Failing to do so may score political points with left-wing partisans, but generations of Americans will ultimately pay the price.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation.
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