Inside The D.C. Beltway Update: Build Back Better, Federal Gasoline Tax Holiday

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are reportedly getting closer to a deal on a slimmed-down Build Back Better (BBB) bill.

The talks, which have accelerated in the past few weeks and have been blessed by other senior Democrats, have revealed new details about what may be in a package.

Senator Manchin has made clear that he opposes direct payments to clean energy developers, preferring tax credits instead.

Senator Manchin and other Democrats also confirmed that a proposed tax credit bonus for EV vehicles produced with union labor has been scrapped.

EMA and other industry leaders fought against this provision during the original BBB discussions last fall.

Senator Manchin is also interested in including carbon capture and hydrogen tax credits, increasing taxes on corporations and the wealthy, including limited drug-pricing reform, and perhaps extending certain Obamacare health care credits.

Most progressive House Democrats have indicated they would vote for any package Manchin supports. However, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), another moderate who opposes tax increases, has been silent about these discussions.

As a reminder, any BBB deal needs to come together before September 30.

Federal Gasoline Tax Holiday

President Biden officially called for a three-month federal gas tax holiday, but Congressional leaders of both parties have criticized such a response, making passage extremely unlikely.

Several Democratic governors also criticized the proposal, arguing it would deplete the Highway Trust Fund without solving the underlying energy issues.

Republicans called for increased domestic energy production.

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