Biden vetoes GOP-led effort to repeal waiver of ‘Buy America’ requirements for EV charger materials

President Biden is vetoing a Republican-led effort to remove his waiver of “Buy America” requirements for iron and steel that get incorporated into federally funded electric vehicle (EV) chargers.

Last year, the administration waived requirements that would have required federally funded EV chargers to be built with U.S.-made iron and steel as long as the chargers themselves are assembled domestically.

Republicans, joined by a few Democrats, in the House and Senate voted to rescind that waiver, arguing that it hurts U.S.-made steel and iron.

However, the Biden administration has argued that its move is actually pro-worker and enables the chargers to be manufactured in the U.S. It has said that without the waiver, the chargers themselves would fall under a Reagan-era waiver exempting most manufactured products from the “Buy America” requirements.

Ahead of the veto announcement, the administration shared a statement of support from the United Steelworkers union for its action.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who sponsored the resolution, has argued that the Biden administration should simply repeal the Reagan-era waiver. An administration official told reporters on Wednesday that the administration is working to walk back the blanket waiver.

Zack Budryk contributed to this report. 

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