The House on Thursday gave final legislative approval to a congressional resolution that seeks to undo a Biden administration rule exemption of electric vehicle chargers from some Buy America requirements.
In the 209-198 vote, Democratic Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Donald Davis of North Carolina voted with Republicans to support the resolution. Republican Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and Tom McClintock of California voted with Democrats to oppose the resolution, according to Fox News.
The Senate passed its resolution in November in a 50-48 vote, with Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana joining Republicans to pass the resolution authored by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, elected as a Democrat but who now lists herself as an independent, also voted for the resolution.
Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York said the Biden administration waiver was a gift to China.
“I voted to overturn Joe Biden’s pro-Communist China rule that would undermine American businesses that have made significant investments into EV manufacturing. Biden’s waiver of the Buy America requirements empower our foreign adversaries like Communist China by pouring hard-earned American taxpayer dollars into foreign markets,” she said in a release on her website.
“Joe Biden and his America Last agenda would sooner invest taxpayer money into Communist Chinese EV chargers than American-made products. The Buy America provision is meant to support American businesses and bolster U.S. manufacturers, neither of which this pro-Communist China Administration is interested in.”
The White House has promised to veto the resolution, according to Politico. Overriding a veto takes a two-thirds majority in each house of Congress, far above the levels at which the resolution passed.
At issue was a Federal Highway Administration waiver from Buy America rules for EV chargers that are funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Although the Biden administration said getting chargers built quickly was vital to the goal of increasing electric vehicle sales, supporters of the resolution said it hurts American businesses.
“A waiver undercuts domestic investments and risks empowering foreign nations,” Missouri Republican Rep. Sam Graves, chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said Thursday, per Politico.
“If the administration is going to continue to push for a massive transition to EVs, it should ensure and comply with Buy America requirements.”
The House took another common-sense step for America by passing my resolution, essentially blocking Biden’s rule allowing American taxpayer dollars to go to Chinese EV chargers.https://t.co/cRKcRtd18u pic.twitter.com/J5rSHrHJ2O
— Senator Marco Rubio (@SenMarcoRubio) January 11, 2024
Rubio had offered a similar argument in proposing the resolution.
“The bottom line is this. If we’re going to spend $5 billion of taxpayer money to build electric vehicle charging stations for the United States, it should be made by Americans, in America, using American products,” he said.
Some said the waiver is needed to build chargers at a fast pace.
“If you kill that waiver, maybe the installation of chargers will be a bit slower or expensive, and then that kind of pulls away … a bit of that appeal of moving to an electric vehicle,” said Tom Moerenhout, a research scholar for Columbia’s Center on Global Energy Policy, according to the Washington Examiner.
But that logic was rejected by the resolution’s supporters.
“We know the Biden administration’s priority is to pour billions into green energy and clean cars, but by rushing to meet arbitrary green and climate agendas, the United States is more likely to solidify China’s control of our energy future rather than save the planet,” Republican Rep. Erin Houchin of Indiana said Wednesday.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.