June 19, 2024

Biden’s assault on consumer freedom

By Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks

Since taking office, Joe Biden has launched a relentless onslaught of regulations infringing on American consumer freedom. The most recent example: the Biden Administration’s aggressive push to electrify the auto industry.

On March 20th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rolled out a draconian tailpipe rule on vehicle emissions, effectively requiring two-thirds of all new vehicles be electric by 2032. This heavy-handed mandate forces American automakers to prioritize electric vehicle (EV) production and sales.

It also will hit Americans where it hurts the most — their wallets. EVs often come with exorbitant price tags, placing them completely out of reach for many middle and lower-income households. With over 300 million gas-powered vehicles currently on the road, the feasibility of replacing them all with costly EVs by 2032 is not only impractical but also financially prohibitive for many Iowans.

EVs should be a consumer choice — not a government mandate by Biden’s bureaucrats in Washington.

The Biden EPA’s tailpipe rule not only hurts Iowans, but it also helps the Chinese Communist Party. China is currently flooding the globe with auto exports and its communist government has made electric vehicles a priority. In the future, China will attempt to penetrate the U.S. with their bargain basement priced EVs as they supply 80 percent of the world battery cells and nearly 60 percent of the EV battery market.

Given the massive domestic and foreign concerns, the Biden tailpipe rule is so harmful that it even faces bipartisan opposition. House Democrats joined Republicans in passing the CARS Act, which would protect automobile choices from the Biden Administration.

But the Biden Administration’s overreach doesn’t stop at the driveway. Their regulatory regime creeps into our homes with mandates on gas stoves, furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters and dishwashers. Disturbingly, over 100 actions have been taken against these essential home appliances without any clear and credible scientific or economic justification.

Biden’s bureaucrats are hellbent on reducing consumer choice and yet their decrees would not deliver substantial environmental benefits.

To further combat the Biden Administration’s general war on consumer choice, I introduced the Refrigerator Freedom Act, legislation that prohibits the Department of Energy (DOE) from prescribing or enforcing energy efficiency standards for refrigerators that are not cost effective or technologically feasible, or that fail to save a significant amount of energy.

I have also voted in favor of measures like the Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act and the REINS Act, which will help rein in this overreach and protect consumer interests and economic freedom.

Representing Iowa in Congress, I refuse to stand idly by while this Administration tramples on the freedoms of hardworking Americans. I will continue to push back against these egregious regulatory measures that reduce consumer choices, drive up prices, and hurt Americans’ wallets.