Opinion: On IRA law, Georgia Democrats put state’s interests last

GOP Congressional delegation on new Inflation Reduction Act.

By U.S. representatives Austin Scott, Drew Ferguson, Andrew Clyde, Buddy Carter, Jody Hice, Rick Allen, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Barry Loudermilk.

The Inflation “Reduction” Act is a bad deal for Georgia. While all of Georgia’s federally elected Democrats voted for the bill, Senators Warnock and Ossoff were uniquely positioned to look out for Georgia’s interests, given that the Democratic majority unilaterally wrote the legislation. Unfortunately, Senators Warnock and Ossoff put Georgia last and failed to stand up for our state before the Democrats voted to pass this legislation.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi called House members back to vote on the bill during August, forcing us to cancel work in our districts while offering no chances for the House to amend the legislation. The Speakers’ heavy-handed tactics left House Republicans powerless to remove harmful provisions for our state and nation – and not a single Georgia Democrat House member stood up for our state.

The Inflation “Reduction” Act is full of empty promises that harm some of Georgia’s flagship companies. In an ironic and careless twist, this legislation punishes one of Georgia’s largest employers and local providers of electric vehicles (EV), Kia Motors.

When Senators Warnock and Ossoff wrote and voted for this bill, they purposefully disadvantaged global automakers, like Kia, with a manufacturing presence in Southern, conservative states and prioritized automakers in Northern, unionized states.

The bill subsidizes wealthy taxpayers, who purchase $80,000 electric vehicles, by modifying the plug-in vehicle tax credit to a “clean vehicle” tax credit valued at up to $7,500. These subsidy modifications eliminate the manufacturing cap on the number of EV sales eligible for the tax credit and increase the base credit to $3,750. It is a convoluted formula for the credit that applies to automobiles manufactured in Mexico, Canada, or the United States of America, but does not apply to many of the most affordable and popular electric vehicles sold in America.

So, the Inflation Reduction Act removes the tax credit for many of the most economical electric vehicles, such as those made by Kia, putting their customers and Georgia’s economy at a disadvantage. Last week, when President Joe Biden signed the bill into law, he literally signed away Kia’s customers’ eligibility to receive the full amount of the tax credits that they were eligible for up until 3 weeks ago, and both of Georgia’s Senators voted for it.

Kia’s parent company, Hyundai Motor Group, has pledged to invest $5.54 billion in opening an electric vehicle plant and battery manufacturing facility in Bryan County, Georgia, bringing over 8,500 jobs to our state. While they plan to break ground soon and begin production in the United States once the facility is constructed, they cannot meet the changes in policy overnight.

Both Kia Motors in West Point, Georgia, home to 2,700 Georgia employees, and Hyundai Motors in Montgomery, Alabama, have plants in the United States that produce thousands of vehicles that are exported all over the world. While we all want to combat China’s influence over critical minerals and battery components, manufacturers with a strong commitment to the United States, and who were originally eligible for the EV credit, should have received a waiver to give them time to comply with the changes. This legislation disrupts automotive manufacturing businesses in Georgia, harms Georgia’s workforce and hurts Georgia’s economy.

Instead of doing their job and ensuring that the legislation was not detrimental to our state before voting for it, Senators Warnock and Ossoff simply did what Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and President Biden ordered. Democrats pandering to far-left progressives have given our country record-high fuel and food prices, and now with even more unchecked government spending, inflation will worsen and our country will fall deeper into a recession.

Georgia Republicans in the House are dedicated to cleaning up the damage the Biden administration has caused and are here to stand up for Georgia’s businesses and people, unlike Senators Warnock and Ossoff.