Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is criticizing the Treasury Department for what he claims is a dangerous interpretation of the tax bill he and the Democrats passed earlier this year. He is urging the agency to stop implementing the new tax credits for electric cars.
The Treasury Department issued guidance on Thursday that said that new electric vehicle owners can claim tax credits of up to $7,500. It also delayed the restrictions on which types of vehicles can be eligible. This decision is a major victory for the South Korean and other car makers, who had been pushing the government to ease the requirements for the tax credits.
The agency said it would not be able to provide the guidance on how to apply for the tax credits until March. This delay allows both car makers and consumers to take advantage of the incentives.
In August, the government ended the tax credit for electric cars that were assembled outside the US due to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The law required that vehicles use certain types of minerals from certain countries or the United States. This would help the development of battery components in the country.
The agency also said that vehicles that contain minerals from a foreign entity that are not produced in the U.S. would not be eligible for the tax credit. The rule was criticized by car makers, who said that existing vehicles would not be able to take advantage of the incentives in January.
These provisions were included in the legislation to encourage Manchin's support for the tax bill. Before the bill was passed, he raised concerns about the materials used in the production of electric cars. The new guidance from the Treasury Department goes against his wishes. He also asked the agency to stop allowing leased cars to be eligible for the credits.
In response to the Treasury Department's new guidance, Manchin asked the agency to suspend the implementation of the tax credits for electric cars until the agency provides more guidance in March. He also said that he would introduce legislation to clarify the law's original intent.
It goes against the intent of the law and will only weaken the country's ability to become an energy-secure nation, Manchin said in his statement. He noted that it was unthinkable that the US would still rely on countries such as Russia and China for the materials needed to power the country.
The Treasury Department noted that the new guidance was the result of months of work and consultations with experts from various federal agencies.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Washington Examiner.