If quotes from Democratic Senate and Congress members are to be believed, the Republican crafters of the new tax bill just signed into law kept electric vehicle tax subsidies. This despite much hand-wringing by supporters of taxpayer-funded subsidies for electric vehicles, including the $130,000-plus luxury models.
Missouri’s Claire McCaskill was typical of the Democratic lawmakers who made it clear - and very public, that Democrats had no part in this new tax law that preserved the electric vehicle subsidies. McCaskill was quoted by VOX as saying, “I’ve actually talked to Republican senators about working with them, and it’s very clear to me that Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan decided they were going to do this the way they wanted to do it, which meant just with Republican votes.” Vox was one of the first to confirm the EV subsidies were included by Republican lawmakers, saying on December 19th, , "A tax credit of up to $7,500 for electric car buyers made it into the final version of the tax bill." and naming the special interest winners in its added comments that included, "This is a win for companies such as Tesla, General Motors, and Nissan."
General Motors was one of the few companies that make EVs who stepped forward to lobby for the inclusion of the subsidies in the new tax code. Auto Finance News also confirmed the inclusion of the EV Tax benefits for buyers on December 21st, and noted GM's public call for the continuation of the special deduction, which read, “We commend Congress for passing vitally important tax reform legislation.”
In late November, The Hill quoted Bernie Sanders, Vermont Senator (Independent) and former Democratic candidate for Presidents, as saying, "What this legislation is about is fulfilling the promises, Republican promises, made to wealthy campaign contributors. There is a reason why the billionaire class provides hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions to Republicans, and now it's payback time."
National Public Radio interviewed Senator John Tester (D Montana), on December 3rd who echoed other Democratic lawmakers who made it clear that Democrats had no part in this legislation. Tester told NPR, "We weren't given the opportunity to determine what in that bill was good and what in that bill was bad." Tester went on to make clear that the bill (prior to becoming law on the date of this story) added huge financial burdens to future Americans due to its giveaways to special interest groups. Tester said in the interview in part, "...bill will add a trillion and a half dollars to the debt of this country that our kids and our grandkids are going to have to pay off, which is, I think, very, very unfortunate ..."
Nancy Pelosi, former House Speaker and current Democratic Congressperson from California called this new tax bill "Monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class and every person who aspires to reach it." Pelosi made clear in her statement that the bill was passed by Republicans and said it was a moral imperative for every member of the House to vote no. The EV tax benefits were just one example of green initiatives Republicans included in the new tax code. Taxpayer-funded solar power subsidies also are part of the new Republican-written law.
For background on the electric vehicle tax benefit, please see our prior stories, including:
- 2018 Tesla Model 3 Will Have to Succeed Without Federal Tax Rebate
- What Happens If The EV Tax Credit Bill Gets Signed Before The Year End?