Biden vetoes bipartisan resolution resuming solar tariffs

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President Biden on Tuesday vetoed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would have undone his two-year moratorium on solar tariffs.

In the veto message, Biden presented the tariff suspension as essential to achieving the renewable energy goals of the Inflation Reduction Act, the sweeping climate and infrastructure bill he signed in 2022.

“Given the progress we are making on American solar, I do not intend to extend the tariff suspension at the conclusion of the 2-year period in June 2024,” Biden said. “Passage of this resolution bets against American innovation.”

“It would undermine these efforts and create deep uncertainty for American businesses and workers in the solar industry,” he added.

The resolution passed in early May with bipartisan support in a 56-41 vote in the Senate. Although Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), a frequent Republican collaborator on CRA resolutions, voted for the resolution, so did several Democrats who are typically Biden allies on climate and energy issues, including Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and John Fetterman (D-Pa.).

The House version passed in April with 12 Democratic votes. One of those votes, Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), called on the House to attempt to override the veto in a statement Tuesday.

“Failing to stand up to those who engage in unfair trade practices hurts American workers and manufacturers,” Kildee said. “Our workers and businesses will never be able to compete globally unless we hold those who violate U.S. trade laws accountable.”

“The Biden administration found, in its own investigation, that Chinese companies are violating the law,” he continued. “Yet the president’s position, and today’s veto, fails to hold China accountable and hurts American workers.”

The CRA allows a simple majority in Congress to vote to undo federal rulemaking. This session, Congress has also passed CRA resolutions to undo administration rules on green investing and truck emissions, both of which Biden also vetoed.

“Congress passed this bipartisan resolution with strong support from Republicans and Democrats,” Kildee said. “Now that the president has vetoed this bill, Congress should once again vote to override today’s veto without delay.”

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who co-sponsored the Senate version of the resolution blasted the veto as “appeasement” of China’s “genocidal regime” and also called for a push to override the veto.

“Now, the only logical thing for Congress to do is to immediately override this veto and make sure that the world knows that American will NEVER tolerate slave and child labor,” Scott said in a statement.

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