WASHINGTON -- More than 100 U.S. House lawmakers on Tuesday urged Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep a $4,500 tax credit incentive for union-built electric vehicles in a massive spending bill.
In a letter, Democrats urged Pelosi to retain the credit supported by the UAW and AFL-CIO. The $4,500 credit would provide a significant boost to Detroit's three automakers -- General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler-parent Stellantis.
"We strongly support leveling the playing field between non-union and unionized workforces by including the added $4,500 incentive to support union-made EVs," said the letter led by Rep. Thomas Suozzi, a New York Democrat.
Suozzi said the incentives "help guarantee that working men and women are an integral part of that success story."
Pelosi's office declined to comment.
Tesla Inc. and foreign automakers do not have unions representing assembly workers in the United States and many have fought efforts to organize U.S. plants.
Last month, 12 major foreign automakers, including Toyota Motor Corp., Volkswagen AG, Honda Motor, Hyundai Motor and Nissan Motor, urged Democrats to reject the proposed $4,500 tax incentive.
A House panel last month approved legislation to boost EV credits to up to $12,500 per vehicle, including $4,500 for union-made vehicles and $500 for U.S.-made batteries.
The foreign automakers said the proposal "would unfairly disadvantage American workers who have chosen not to join a union and produce more than half of all vehicles in the United States and the vast majority of American-made EVs."
Toyota issued a statement on Tuesday in response to the letter.
“Thousands of hard-working auto workers across the U.S. are just as American and deserve as much support for their work in building the electrification of the nation’s cars as anybody else," said Stephen Ciccone, group vice president, Toyota Motor North America.
"While Congress is debating whether there is enough money for child care, family leave, health care and other issues, House Members who support giving $12,500 to people who can afford a $75,000 electric car are discriminating against thousands of American auto workers and passing on priorities of higher importance,” Ciccone said.