House votes down Biden ‘Buy America’ waiver for EV chargers

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The House voted 209-198 Wednesday to overturn a Biden administration waiver that allows federal funds to go to electric vehicle (EV) chargers even if the chargers are not made from U.S.-produced steel and iron.

Opponents of that waiver argue that it allows federal dollars to bolster foreign industries.

While the Senate also approved a resolution that would undo the waiver, the White House is expected to veto the measure.

When it threatened a veto in November, the White House argued that the resolution would undermine U.S. manufacturing of the chargers. It said that without the waiver, chargers would fall under a general Reagan-era waiver exempting most manufactured products from the “Buy America” requirements.

Republicans, however, have also argued that the administration should rescind that 1983 waiver to sidestep that problem. 

The waiver was initially issued last year by the Biden administration to exempt certain electric vehicle chargers from Buy American provisions that apply to infrastructure projects as long as the chargers themselves are assembled in the U.S. The provisions generally require that iron and steel used for infrastructure projects that are funded by the Federal Highway Administration be produced in the U.S. 

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