Politics Biden wants union jobs and clean air. Delivering both might be tough.
Full transcript of ABC News' George Stephanopoulos' interview with President Biden
Read the full transcript of ABC News' George Stephanopoulos' interview with President Joe Biden. GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. President, thank you for doing this.
President Joe Biden’s ambition to put an electric vehicle in every driveway is facing political headwinds as Democrats debate how to deliver on climate change while handing a victory to unions and the middle class.
Democrats crafting a multitrillion-dollar budget package have proposed EV tax breaks that exclude the wealthiest Americans and give a leg up to the unionized Big Three automakers, which account for about 44 percent of the U.S. market.
Critics, including many automakers, argue that attaching too many strings to clean-car tax credits undermines Biden’s goal for electric vehicles to account for half of new car sales by 2030. The president’s supporters counter that lawmakers are making good on his campaign promise to boost good-paying union jobs in the U.S. and advance climate equity. They point to modeling by Rhodium Group that estimates EVs could account for 61 percent of new car sales by 2030 under Democrats' budget and infrastructure bills.
Biden is frustrated? I'm frustrated. He is still missing the mark on COVID-19.
Biden's vaccine requirement, while stronger than anything he has done, feels like it doesn't go far enough. Don't give an 'off lane' to employers.But in his speech Thursday – during which he laid out stronger vaccine mandates for federal workers and put pressure on teachers to follow suit – President Joe Biden finally provided some of the force that the nation's fight against COVID-19 has been missing.
“To state the obvious, an EV made by autoworkers who choose to unionize does not make that vehicle any better for the environment,” Toyota Motor Corp. executives.
Both House and Senate bills have sweeteners for cars assembled by organized labor, which would benefit General Motors, Ford and, formerly Fiat Chrysler.
Eligibility requirements proposed by the House include limiting incentives based on a car-buyer‘s income and the price of the vehicle. Those measures could strip the market of billions of dollars in consumer incentives over the next decade, said Joe Britton, executive director of the Zero Emissions Transportation Association, which counts Tesla and Rivian among its members.
Biden turns to Colorado to pitch investments in clean energy
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — While legislators craft the details back in Washington, President Joe Biden is pitching his massive domestic spending package with a visit to a renewable energy lab in Colorado to highlight how the investments in clean energy in his massive spending package would help combat climate change. The trip to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Denver will cap off the president’s two-day swing to the West, and offer Biden the chance to continue linking the need to pass the massive spending package to the urgent threat posed by climate change.
“If we want to drive adoption, we need a widely accessible tax credit,” Britton told POLITICO. “This isn’t about the driver and who should get the goodies. This is about reducing emissions, spurring economic development and improving public health.”
House Democrats want to continue giving EV buyers an existing $7,500 tax credit, and they’d add another $4,500 if the vehicle was assembled in the U.S. at union plants. A Senate bill proposes an extra $2,500 for union-assembled vehicles, and a separate $2,500 bonus for EVs assembled domestically.
United Auto Workers spokesperson Brian Rothenberg declined to comment specifically on whether proposals to reward only part of the market would slow adoption of electric vehicles.
He sent a written statement from union President Ray Curry, who said the proposal would help ensure taxpayer dollars don't subsidize vehicles made by workers who are paid a substandard wage.
FEC says Twitter acted legally in blocking Hunter Biden laptop stories, pointing to claim of intel warnings about hacking
The Federal Elections Commission said on Wednesday its members unanimously rejected complaints from the Republican National Committee and others that Twitter’s decision to block the sharing of links to articles from the New York Post related to Hunter Biden's laptop constituted an illegal contribution to now-President Joe Biden’s candidacy. © Provided by Washington Examiner In announcing the decision, the FEC pointed to Twitter’s assertion that part of the reason it stopped the spread of the New York Post articles in October was over concerns that foreign actors obtained the salacious materials through hacking.
“We welcome all other auto companies to unionize and give U.S. workers the same union voice as they have in every other country where they build autos,” Curry said.
Video: Rep. Clyburn on Tax Bill, Debt Limit Negotiations (Bloomberg)
Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.)to design tax breaks targeted to the middle class and boost incentives for vehicles assembled with unionized labor. The approach would ensure that taxpayer dollars don’t flow to the wealthy and subsidize luxury vehicles, he said.
Anshowed that nearly 98 percent of people who bought new vehicles in recent years would be eligible for credits in the House proposal. The credits are phased out for individuals earning $400,000 or more a year in adjusted gross income.
Electric cars, vans, SUVs and pickup trucks sold at certain price points also would be ineligible.
An incentive for the used car market,, would apply only to individuals earning less than $75,000 a year and to EVs that cost less than $25,000.
Biden looks to recapture his political momentum with a full-court press on his domestic agenda
A politically weakened President Joe Biden is looking to spark a turnaround with a renewed focus on his domestic agenda after a month marred by a spike in Covid-19 cases and a messy withdrawal from Afghanistan. © Evan Vucci/AP President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the economy in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, in Washington, DC. Officials tell CNN the President is now determined to recalibrate around his massive economic proposals: a $3.5 trillion budget bill and $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. He hopes to recapture momentum lost over a calamitous August.
The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated the House plan would spend $16.9 billion on individual tax credits over a decade. By contrast, a package advanced out of the Senate Finance Committee in May, which doesn’t include income tests, would spend $31.5 billion during the same time period.
The House package has won endorsements from environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and clean-car advocates including Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America.
“I understand why lawmakers don’t want EV credits to subsidize cars for rich people,” Levin said. “I think this is workable. The income caps are very high, and I appreciate the broader goals of the administration to support union jobs.”
Federalof tax credits currently are claimed by Americans earning $100,00 or more a year. Households in that income bracket also as Asian or white.
Levin said that under the House and Senate proposals, most new luxury vehicles would be priced out of the tax credit. Provisions that make it easier for customers to take advantage of the benefits immediately on the sales floor, or fully claim them in tax returns, would expand access to lower-income individuals.
Gil Tal, director of the Plug-in Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center at University of California, Davis, said income limits aren’t likely to affect sales one way or another because research shows that wealthy Americans will buy expensive cars without incentives.
The most effective way to grow the EV market, he said, would be to eliminate a 200,000 cap on the number of EVs an automaker can sell before tax credits lapse — a limit Tesla and General Motors Co. have already hit. Both the House and Senate proposals would lift the cap.
“This is very important,” Tal said. “This is a strong motivation for BMW to make cars that will compete with Tesla.”
Toyota, Honda Motor Corp., and other foreign automakers are more concerned about getting blocked out of extra subsidies because their U.S. plants aren’t unionized. They accused lawmakers of putting politics ahead of climate change.
“Biden has made his affection for UAW obvious,” said Cody Lusk, president and CEO of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, which represents 96,000 nameplates.
“But if I’m in South Carolina, and I want to buy a Volvo made in the U.S., I wouldn’t get the same benefits as someone who buys from GM in Michigan,” he said. “The $4,500 credit is a huge amount, and makes any non-union vehicles in a market non-competitive.”
Don't believe the White House hype: Biden is ruining the economy, not fixing it .
Biden's reckless spending programs have the potential to push the country toward another financial catastrophe, perhaps within the next year or two. That's hardly a record worth celebrating.Justin Haskins (Jhaskins@heartland.org) is the editorial director of The Heartland Institute and the director of Heartland's Stopping Socialism Project.