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Democratic Senator Manchin Opposes Tax Credit For Union-Made EVs

Democratic Senator of West Virginia, Joe Manchin, who holds a decisive vote in a divided Senate, opposes a proposed additional tax credit for electric vehicles made by unionized workers, describing the proposal as “non American” and “wrong.”

Senator Manchin has been a holdout for weeks to any radical provisions in the Build Back Better bill that would penalize the coal, oil, or gas industry. 

President Joe Biden’s spending plan was thrown into doubt last month after Senator Manchin opposed the clean electricity part of the program and the penalization of coal-powered electricity generation.

The Biden Administration has been pushing for legislation on clean energy goals to be included in the spending bill. But Senator Manchin of the coal state West Virginia has opposed the versions the Democrats have proposed. Senator Manchin’s vote in favor of the plan put forward by Democrats is crucial for passing the bill in a divided 50-50 Senate.  

At an event of Toyota in West Virginia this week, Senator Manchin told Automotive News, referring to the plan for an additional tax credit for union-made EVs:

“When I heard about this, what they were putting in the bill, I went right to the sponsor [Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.] and I said, ‘This is wrong. This can’t happen. It’s not who we are as a country. It’s not how we built this country, and the product should speak for itself.”

The proposal includes up to $7,500 in tax credits for EVs, plus an additional $4,500 tax credit if the vehicle is assembled at a union facility.

“We shouldn’t use everyone’s tax dollars to pick winners and losers. If you’re a capitalist economy that we are in society then you let the product speak for itself, and hopefully, we’ll get that, that’ll be corrected,” Senator Manchin told Automotive News in an interview.

Detroit’s Big Three—Ford, GM, and Stellantis—would benefit from the union-made EV tax credit, but other manufacturers not using unionized labor, including foreign carmakers and Tesla, would not.

Autos Drive America, an association including major foreign carmakers including Toyota, Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and others, said in a statement last month, referring to the proposed UAW-built EVs tax credit: “Congress needs to stop playing games with hard-working American workers and consumers and provide fair and equal tax incentives for all EVs.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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