By on January 26, 2022

The White House has made plans to host American business executives — including numerous CEOs tied to the automotive sector — in an effort to gain support for the stalled Build Back Better agenda. The meeting is scheduled to take place today, with President Joe Biden and company hoping to convince them to get behind the (revised) $1.75 trillion spending bill after it passed in the House but never made it through the Senate.

Seats have already been reserved for General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Ford CEO Jim Farley, and Cummins CEO Tom Linebarger. The rest are going to heads of manufacturing and technology companies, with a few noteworthy outliers. For example, the Biden administration has also invited the president of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America and the CEO of Siemens (a multinational entity that’s not based in the United States). Based on earlier statements from White House press secretary Jen Psaki, the meetings will take place in-person, bucking the Biden administration’s trend of hosting virtual events.

“We have an event tomorrow on Build Back Better where there will be a number of CEOs here,” she told the press on Tuesday.

While Build Back Better is a sweeping proposal aimed at bolstering infrastructure, it includes numerous provisions that have nothing to do with maintaining bridges, highways, and railroads. One of the reasons it failed to pass in the Senate was because many legislators claimed it was too broad. BBB would have advanced sweeping changes in the tax code, set aside $400 billion for universal pre-schooling, allocated $165 billion to expand Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), $150 billion for home care programs, and another $150 billion to build public housing in suburban America.

But the biggest expense has to be the over $500 billion that’s been earmarked for “climate justice.” Based around a goal to halve U.S. carbon emissions by 2030 and swiftly encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, the Biden administration wants to offer sizable tax credits to companies who are willing to greenify the nation in a manner of its choosing. However, this included provisions that would have given unionized automakers preferential treatment, encouraging the rest to accuse the plan of being politically motivated.

Build Back Batter would have raised the current EV tax credit scheme from $7,500 to $12,500 for domestically manufactured vehicles using union labor. It also carved out a plan to create an additional $4,000 credit for new vehicles and moved to reset existing 200,000 vehicle quotas that would have once again made GM and Tesla eligible.

But Tesla wasn’t interested in continued government handouts, with CEO Elon Musk suggesting that it was time for EVs to stand on their own. He likewise criticized the plan for being wasteful and showing favoritism to union-backed automakers. The company was joined by other manufacturers, with Toyota going so far as to launch an advertising campaign criticizing Build Back Better’s handling of the automotive industry. There were also concerns that there was no sunset clause for the proposed tax credit plot, potentially making BBB far more expensive than the initial estimates.

The money aspect became one of the biggest sticking points for Congress, with dissenting members of the Senate frequently fretting about untethered government spending exacerbating inflation. However Build Back Better already appears to have allies at Ford and General Motors, which is undoubtedly why their CEOs are visiting the White House today.

“General Motors is grateful for the opportunity to join the discussion,” a spokesperson from GM told Automotive News. “The meeting is a good opportunity to reinforce GM’s policy priorities particularly as it relates to electric vehicles and building out our U.S. supply chain as we continue to move towards an all-electric future.”

From AN:

Biden on Tuesday touted General Motors’ announcement of a $7 billion investment in Michigan, adding 4,000 jobs and boosting EV and battery manufacturing. GM CEO Mary Barra is expected to be among the CEOs in attendance alongn [sic] with Ford CEO Jim Farley. the White House said.

Farley, in a statement released by Ford, said: “Strengthened consumer incentives will help get more drivers behind the wheels of EVs and help American workers lead the global transition to zero-emissions transportation. I’m looking forward to heading to Washington tomorrow to meet with President Biden and talk about how we can make this plan a reality.”

Neither Tesla (the world’s largest manufacturer of EVs by volume) nor Stellantis appears to have been invited to the meeting. While we can only speculate as to why, Elon Musk’s opposition to BBB and unionization likely played an important factor.

As for the bill itself, it’s clear that it is not been gaining in popularity among American voters in recent months. But the fact that the White House is currently seeking business allies proves that it’s not giving up just yet. Earlier in the week, Biden even suggested that the all-important (and most expensive) climate portion of Build Back Better might be able to pass the House and Senate by itself if separated from the other social programs.

“I think we can break the package up, get as much as we can now and come back and fight for the rest of it,” he said.

[Image: Orhan Cam/Shutterstock]

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61 Comments on “White House Invites Auto Execs to Endorse Build Back Better...”


  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Crucial question: Will Barra fly commercial?

  • avatar
    SnarkIsMyDefault

    I came here looking for the entertaining comments, won’t say which way they’re entertaining, so where ARE they already?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    How about this as an alternative strategy: the D3 needs to pay more to Manchin and Sinema than the coal and oil companies do. That should do the trick.

    Sad, but that’s the way it works these days.

    Forget BBB – what REALLY needs to pass is finance reform, stat.

    • 0 avatar
      285exp

      If their constituents don’t agree with them, they can vote them out, regardless of who you think is buying their vote.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Sure, but the only way ANYONE gets voted out in a non-“safe” district or state is huge spending. Translated: whoever beats them is also bought. The only difference, really, is what interest group is buying them. Republicans get bought by big business and the oil companies; Democrats get bought by unions. And because of Citizens United, these interest groups can all spend unlimited amounts of money polluting elections.

        No wonder voters are continually disappointed – they’re not voting for Candidate A or Candidate B, but rather the interest groups FUNDING Candidate A or Candidate B.

        As a result, “conservative” or “liberal” ideology is becoming more and more irrelevant. Politics has become a mix of 90 Day Fiancee and the food fight from “Animal House”, and whoever shouts the loudest and throws food the best has the best chance of winning.

        Thus, clowns like Greene or Tlaib drawing a Congressional salary. They’re not politicians – they’re reality show contestants. Their constituents may as well have elected J-wow or The Situation. Meanwhile, the truly bright, civic minded candidates – and there are people like that on both sides of the aisle, by the way – want no part of it. Why would they?

        This all has to stop, and getting rid of the money in politics to the greatest extent possible is a first step.

        • 0 avatar
          285exp

          The reason they’re in a “safe” state is because most of their constituents agree with them and they vote their constituents preferences. You don’t think most of the people of WV want him to vote the way he does and they wouldn’t turn on him in a heartbeat if he didn’t? He’s a Democrat in a very red state, all the money in the world can’t hide his vote if he voted to decimate the WV coal industry, whether you approve of it or not. If they primary him, the Senate seat would likely go to a Republican, and they’d lose the 80% of the vote he gives to them now.

          It’s a little different with Sinema, but Arizona seems ok with mavericks, and she is one of the only things keeping the Democrats from doing something incredibly short sighted and stupid, like nuking the filibuster.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Funny thing about the filibuster…it seems to be most popular with the party trying to keep the other party from getting its’ agenda passed. I seem to recall Republicans being similarly up in arms about it once upon a time. Now that it’s being used to pwn Brandon, though, it’s awesome for them.

            As it is, I think the filibuster is an excellent way to make sure nothing gets done. Like I said…we wonder why voters are jaded? Add that to the list. The Senate should work the way the House does – a simple majority. If the voters don’t like what the Senate passes, then they can change the Senate every two years.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            I remember when Trump demanded that McConnell bring up a vote to abolish the filibuster, and he refused. Biden does that same thing, and Schumer rolls right over and does his bidding, even after both of them previously defended the filibuster as vital to our democracy. I guess their principles were a bit situational, unlike McConnell’s.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff S

          @FreedMike–Completely agree couldn’t have said it any better.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            he’s completely wrong

            Manchin and Sinema are sticking w/ their convictions – all the other Dems have switched positions

            and Manchin and Sinema are vastly more popular in their states than dementia joe

            BBB is dead – which is good for the country

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            He’s right that the filibuster is an excellent way to make sure nothing gets done, and that’s a feature, not a bug. The Democrats gleefully used it to thwart the Evil Orange Man, and now they want to dump it because it is thwarting them now. Only Manchin and Sinema have enough sense to see that the weapon the Democrats want to vote for themselves to have will be used against them as soon as they are no longer in the majority. Ask Harry Reid how it worked out for him, it better, ask Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett. Be careful what you wish for, you may surely get it.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “The Democrats gleefully used it to thwart the Evil Orange Man, and now they want to dump it because it is thwarting them now”

            The democrats also gleefully used it when protesting the Civil Rights Act of 1957. In fact that was the longest filibuster in history. Storm Thurmond, a democrat, delivered the speech. He was proceeded and succeeded by another democrat and KKK member Robert Byrd (who voted against the Civil Rights Act).

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @285:

            I think you proved my point. Senate votes should be the same as House votes – majority carries. Period. If that means stuff gets passed that I don’t like, then so be it. In two years, I get to vote for a do-over. If they pass something you don’t like, then in two years you get to do the same. That’s the way it should work.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            No, Mike, the point of the filibuster is to prevent a party with a razor thin majority in the House, and a tie in the Senate, from ramming through anything they want to, like multi-trillion dollar pork bills and partisan voting bills, with no clear mandate to do so. If the voters give you a House majority and enough Senators from your own party to override the filibuster, you can reasonably claim a mandate, or if you can attract enough bipartisan support, you can reasonably claim one. That is not the situation we have now. Biden said he would work with the other side, that he would help heal the divisions in our country and lower the temperature in Washington that he blamed on Trump. If he wasn’t just lying so that he could fool enough rubes to get elected, he would actually be trying to do those things, but he’s not. His mandate was to do those things and not be Trump, not to be a new FDR without the huge majorities in the House and Senate that FDR had. Now he’s failing miserably at everything except not being Trump, and he is on track to lose the House and Senate in the midterms. We do not need to be whipsawed back and forth every 2 years, which is what the filibuster helps prevent. If his proposals can’t get enough bipartisan support to get past the filibuster, they need to be changed until they can.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            So, majority rules in any U.S. legislative setting but the U.S. Senate? Nope.

            There’s a bigger picture here that goes beyond “Congress doesn’t get anything done”. In theory, that problem’s fixed by electing different people to Congress. But it doesn’t matter who we elect – the gridlocked results are the same. And it’s bi-partisan. Republicans couldn’t get rid of Obamacare despite control of Congress and an overwhelming mandate from their base, and Democrats haven’t been able to pass BBB despite control of Congress and a similar mandate from their base.

            The sh*tty truth is that voters have lost faith in the ability of the entire government to get anything done, and changing the party in charge makes no difference. How does the filibuster help that? It doesn’t…in fact, it makes the problem worse. Thus, more disillusionment.

            Some of the disillusioned simply tune out, or punch a straight party line ticket. And some some of those who don’t tune out become radicalized. January 6th (and the BLM riots, if you want to make it “non-partisan”) didn’t happen by accident…in fact, the only thing that surprised me was that they took so long to happen. There are TENS OF MILLIONS of people who have come to believe that their elected officials just aren’t listening to them. They want solutions to problems should be handling, and the government isn’t solving s**t. Given that Congress is deadlocked all the time, the “no one’s listening” belief makes absolute sense.

            I’d say restoring the majority rule doctrine is a good step towards reversing that. It’s a built in concept of any healthy democratically elected system. If we’re afraid of it in our system, then the problem is that we don’t trust our system.

          • 0 avatar
            285exp

            If getting things done was the same as fixing things, you might have a point. Unfortunately, the more they get done the more they screw things up, and pushing bills through on a party line vote in an evenly divided country is a recipe for even more division. Forcing them to compromise to get things passed is a good thing, each side must have skin in the game. If each side spends their turns at the wheel blowing up what the last guys did before pushing through their own pet bills, just to have them get voted out again so cycle can start all over again, lots will get done, but no progress will be made. The Senate is supposed to be different from the house, they have 6 year terms so they have some incentive to look beyond the 2 year election cycle of the House, where they have to start running again as soon as they are elected. People can either turn down the heat and try to work together, or they can try to have everything their own way, one of these things is good for the country, the other is not.

        • 0 avatar
          Argistat

          Agree 100%! Solid, qualified people with integrity are not running for political office these days. They don’t want to be part of a clown circus, or have their lives threatened by the growing pool of nutcases.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      wrong

      both Senators Manchin and Sinema have been the consistent ones , unlike most of the craven Dems who have tailored their consciences to meet the Dem current fashion

      BBB is highly unpopular across the nation, probably because some remember BO’s infrastructure bill which promised “shovel ready jobs”

      and when that didn’t happen and the money was gone BO and biden laughed about it. BBB is thousands of Solydras and high speed rails – just more payoffs to cronies

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “…craven Dems who have tailored their consciences to meet the Dem current fashion…”

        Speaking of craven, when did the GOP start turning a blind eye to presidents who can’t keep it in their pants? And didn’t the GOP used to have a guy who called it like it was with the Russians?

        The system’s broken, thornmark. No one has any damn scruples anymore. There are ways of fixing it – getting rid of the unlimited campaign donations would be a fine start – but don’t bulls**t me and say “your side” is any better.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @FreedMike: 1) All campaign contributions should go into a ‘pot’ and be divided equally among the parties/candidates. No more ‘buying’ politicians or elections. If the contributors are truly interested in preserving the democratic system they should have no problems with this.

          2) All elected politicians should have a mandatory service limit. No more than let’s say 20 years as an elected politician. All levels of government combined. No more lifetime entrenched politicians.

          3) No child can immediately succeed a parent as the elected representative for an area. Ending political dynasties.

          4) Decrease the number of elected politicians and increase what they are paid. That could allow for greater scrutiny and less incentive for them to take ‘backhanders’ or ‘dash’.

  • avatar
    Vae Victis

    “But the biggest expense has to be the over $500 billion that’s been earmarked for “climate justice.” For those who are concerned with the feasibility of fully wind/solar/battery electricity generation, take a look at this: https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2022-1-25-how-about-a-pilot-project-to-demonstrate-the-feasibility-of-fully-windsolarbattery-electricity-generation
    And if you think that you can contribute, intelligent comments are appreciated.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Interesting link.

      I believe an intelligent way forward will include nuclear power – but more modern reactor designs than most of what we have now.

      For further reading:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_III_reactor
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_IV_reactor

      (How did I do?)

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    BBB should be killed with fire.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Fellow Techer Barra, go to Xiden and kiss the feet.
    ( check$ are coming down the road. No worries )

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    In what’s left of Brandon’s mind he must genuinely believe he’s a great man and people want to come and kiss his ring.

  • avatar
    Rick T.

    “the Biden administration has also invited the president of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America…”

    Why?

    And a good rule of thumb is that anytime justice is invoked you know you’re going to pay…and pay….and pay…and…

  • avatar
    redapple

    28
    I just heard Jen Suckee say, Brandon is great, no other has done so much in the first year.

    Da ! Say Pravda

  • avatar
    MitchConner

    If I got an invite my response would be something along the lines of “sorry, got to oil my parrot” or “dang, that’s the day I’m washing my lawn” or “sorry, man, got a hot date with some chick from Wilmington named Jill” or “oh, geez, I’m in China that day breaking a bottle of champagne over a new coal fired smoke stack.”

    Joe is a stupid man with a stupid plan being foisted on us all by a bunch of crazed lunatics.

    The midterms can’t get here fast enough.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    Let’s see inflation is high, Fed is signaling raising rates, and yet, Branden wants to give people more free money. WHY? Can any one, for the love of God, explain why he wants more free money in a economy that has inflation at highest rates since another Democrat (Jimmy peanut Carter) was president? What is Branden doing?

    • 0 avatar
      Socrates77

      Don’t think the republicans are angels either. The first thing they did when trump was elected was the big tax break for the rich. You’re a fool if you don’t think corporate America owns both parties.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff S

        Agree as a former accountant for an oil company I know all to well about these contributions and yes both candidates get a contribution but the one that looks like they are ahead in the polls gets the largest contribution. Have to protect your drilling rigs in the states they are operating in.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        wrong

        most of the tax breaks went to the middle class

        in stark contrast dementia joe’s plan is to bring back full SALT which benefits mostly the rich

        • 0 avatar
          Socrates77

          Nope BS, I’m a truck driver Middle class income and they took my per diem that I use to report when I did my taxes, and trump took that away from me because I don’t own the truck. I pay for hotels out of my own pocket now. He screw me over and I have to spend more money on the road. The rich got a bigger tax break than the middle class.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Let me just leave this here as a reminder – this quote was pulled from Salon, a friendly periodical to Biden:

    …But speaking to wealthy donors in New York, Biden appeared to suggest that his plan would not involve big tax hikes on the rich.

    “I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who has made money,” he said. “The truth of the matter is, you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. We can disagree in the margins but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change.”

    Biden went on to say that the rich should not be blamed for income inequality, pleading to the donors, “I need you very badly.”

    “I hope if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you,” he added.

  • avatar
    Socrates77

    This is how corruption works in America. Politicians and big old corporations use the government and make up bs to print money for themselves. GM ceo makes 20 plus million per year they get bailouts and money from the taxpayers. And the politicians who own stock on this worthless corporations.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Nobody supports Build back betterrrrrrr. From the very stupid name to the fact it’s nothing more than a social welfare program, it doesn’t actually make anything better.

    Thank God we have 52 senators that can see through the BS from the installed Brandon administration and realize what this bill would do for the country. It’s similar to the infrastructure bill we’re only about 5% actually went towards infrastructure. It’s a boondoggle, port filled pile of crap brought to you by the same frauds that claim vaccines and masks work and prefer children committing suicide than sending them to school because they might catch the sniffles.

  • avatar

    these pimps make no decisions.

  • avatar
    aja8888

    Why wasn’t Musk invited?

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Because Musk is not WOKE

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      because the smartest man in the room Musk has stated that EVs will remain a niche – for all the usual reasons – existing battery tech makes EVs uneconomic for most – the raw materials cannot supply what’s needed for production of tens of millions of units each year and the grid isn’t up too it anyway – it can barely supply current electricity demand – just look at the mess that is California where EV owners are regularly told not to charge their cars

    • 0 avatar
      agent534

      No Union at Tesla for biden to say he is saving jobs for. Biden won’t do anything that isn’t vote related. He is going to pander to those Unions, and the union bosses will repeat it that biden got them to keep their jobs.

  • avatar

    I have two question: Does Build Back Better Make America Great Again? And will Bidon call Mary “stupid son of a b!tch?

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Yes. Biden and Trump are cut from the same cloth, but each side has so much hatred for the other side that they can’t see it.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        dementia joe never built anything other than a fortune off government influence

        Harry Truman: “any politician that gets rich doing his job is a crook”

        Harry pegged mean joe

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          He built a pretty lengthy career of being a racist, homophobe, and who has temper tantrums when he is confronted. he also has built a career of complete ineffectiveness. But, he has been in the senate for 120 years (his words) so maybe there’s still time.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    Traitor joe is far more than stupid and incompetent. He is actively subverting the US constitution and intentionally defrauding and bankrupting the American people. Just one example is covert flights of illegal alien adult males being flown all over the country and released at taxpayer expense. These unvaccinated criminals are getting a free full ride in violation of laws and constitutional mandate. Build back broke is what Joe’s supporters want.

  • avatar

    Mary Barra is a useless Globalist nitwit who is clueless.

    she wouldn’t even be close to 14 were it not for being Danny’s girl.

    Epstein hired better.

  • avatar
    BSttac

    Its Jimmy Carter all over again. It took decades to recover from. How sad

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Carter was at least a decent human being. Additionally he didn’t get a bunch of BS deferments like Trump/Biden.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @ArtV: True. In the USN he served his country with distinction. However being a ‘good person’ unfortunately does not make a ‘great’ political leader. Machiavelli was correct in many of his assertions.

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        USS Jimmy Carter is extra special (I can’t say more right now):
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Jimmy_Carter

        Ok, ok, I’ll say a little more:
        https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/spy-submarine-no-other-come-aboard-uss-jimmy-carter-48812

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    BBB , Bring Barbecue Bacon to the unions.

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