President Joe Biden visited an electric car factory operated by General Motors after the automaker paid nearly $160,000 to the brother of a White House staffer.
Matthew Foldi of The Washington Free Beacon explains that lobbyist Jeff Ricchetti — the brother of Steve Ricchetti, who serves as counselor to the president and worked as chief of staff to the vice president from 2013 to 2017 — has earned $160,000 from General Motors since Biden’s inauguration.
The report explains:
The investment appears to have paid off — on Wednesday, Biden will attend the grand opening of the company’s new electric vehicle factory as part of his push for Congress to “approve big tax incentives for zero-emission vehicles,” precisely what Ricchetti was paid to push for…
Ricchetti has cashed in on his family ties to the administration. Ricchetti has already brought in $2.4 million in lobbying fees this year, double his 2020 haul of $1.2 million, according to numbers compiled by OpenSecrets. Ethics experts have criticized the Biden administration for allowing Steve Ricchetti to work on issues his brother is being paid to lobby the administration on.
General Motors opened its “Factory Zero” during the commander-in-chief’s visit. The event occurred amid debates in Congress over the $1.75 trillion “Build Back Better Act,” which would hike the electric vehicle tax credit from $7,500 to $12,500.
In a recent interview with The Daily Wire, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) — the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee — observed: “A family making $800,000 per year is eligible for a $12,500 check to buy a luxury electric vehicle with up to a $74,000 price tag… That check they’re getting will be paid for by the maid who comes to clean their house. It’s a stunning giveaway to the wealthy.”
More broadly, the Biden administration has acted highly favorably toward automakers with unionized workforces. Indeed, The Daily Wire reported that Biden’s recent electric vehicle summit — attended by executives from General Motors and Ford — appeared to snub Tesla because it is not unionized.
News outlets — and CEO Elon Musk himself — were apparently surprised that the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer was not invited to the event. However, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki implied during a press briefing that Tesla’s lack of unionization was the factor behind the administration’s choice to exclude the firm.
“Well, we, of course, welcome the efforts of all automakers who recognize the potential of an electric vehicle future and support efforts that will help reach the president’s goal. And certainly, Tesla is one of those companies,” said Psaki. “Today, it’s the three largest employers of the United Auto Workers, and the UAW president who will stand with President Biden as he announces his ambitious new target, but I would not expect this is the last time we talk about clean cars, the move toward electric vehicles, and we look forward to having a range of partners in that effort.”
When asked again if Tesla was snubbed because it is not unionized, Psaki said: “I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.”
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