White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday said the Biden administration doesn’t expect to ask U.S. lawmakers for changes to the Inflation Reduction Act, but “there are ways we can address Europe’s concerns” over Democrats’ climate and healthcare package.
“We don’t have any plans to go back to Congress for legislative changes,” she said to reporters while traveling on Air Force One. “We’re not going to be addressing any glitches.”
She said there was a “complex implementation” of the IRA underway at federal agencies, and she wouldn’t “get ahead” of “substantive consultations.”
Her comments come after President Joe Biden on Thursday said there are “tweaks that we can make that can fundamentally make it easier for European countries to participate.”
In making those remarks during a joint news conference at the White House with French President Emmanuel Macron, Biden didn’t make specific commitments.
Macron has been criticizing the Inflation Reduction Act, which features a tax credit for electric vehicles but leaves out foreign car makers. The French president also has complained about a bipartisan law focused on U.S. semiconductor
manufacturing, saying it wasn’t properly coordinated with Europe.
Biden’s statements on Thursday suggest that Macron’s concerns will be addressed “through the Treasury Department’s regulations to implement the IRA, which are expected by the end of December, as opposed to seeking to amend the IRAduring the remaining weeks of the lame duck session of Congress,” said Benjamin Salisbury, director of research at Height Capital Markets, in a note on Friday.
“In our view, the EU and other U.S. allies may not get everything they ask for onimplementation of the EV tax credit, but Biden’s indicating willingness to compromise on the IRA contributed to a positive conclusion to the state visit,” he added.
Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments, offered a similar take.
“Virtually no one in Congress has any interest in re-opening the Inflation Reduction Act, although this could be addressed in rule-making,” Valliere said in a note.
The IRA features a revamped $7,500 tax credit for EVs, but car companies not based in the U.S. have objected to its requirements around North American battery sourcing.