Energy & Environment

Biden threatens to veto House resolution to end solar panel tariffs freeze

President Biden on Monday vowed to veto a congressional resolution that would undo his freeze on solar panel component tariffs should it reach his desk.

In a statement Monday, the White House called the moratorium essential to allowing the U.S. to transition to renewable energy while it builds its domestic manufacturing capacity.

“This rule is necessary to satisfy the demand for reliable and clean energy while ensuring Commerce is able to rigorously enforce U.S. trade laws, hold trading partners accountable, and defend U.S. industries and workers from unfair trade actions,” the White House said in a statement. “Passage of this joint resolution would undermine these efforts and create deep uncertainty for jobs and investments in the solar supply chain and the solar installation market.”

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) office has said the measure, which invokes the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to end the freeze, will be brought to the House floor in the week ahead.

The CRA allows a simple majority in Congress to override a rule made by the executive branch. The GOP House majority has already used the law to take aim at several Biden administration’s energy and environmental rules, including a Labor Department rule allowing money managers to consider environmental and sustainable governance in investments.

That resolution passed the Senate with bipartisan backing, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who faces a tough reelection in 2024 and has been a vocal critic of the administration’s energy policies.

Another vulnerable red-state Democrat, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), has been a proponent of protectionist policies on solar panels and previously joined former Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) in backing an investigation into southeastern Asian firms for potentially circumventing tariffs. In March, Brown and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) called on Biden to end the moratorium. The Hill has reached out to Brown’s office for clarification on whether he will back the resolution.

Tags Joe Biden Joe Manchin Rob Portman Sherrod Brown Steve Scalise

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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