Twelve Democrats and eight Republicans crossed the aisle on Friday with their votes on a resolution that seeks to restart tariffs on solar power imports that were suspended by the Biden administration.
The House approved the resolution in a 221-202 vote.
President Biden signed an order in June 2022 to free Southeast Asian countries from new tariffs on solar panels for two years, a move that was meant to bolster the solar industry during a Commerce Department investigation into whether Southeast Asian nations were being used to circumvent tariffs on Chinese solar companies.
The order pertained to certain solar imports from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
An inquiry by the Commerce Department ultimately found probable trade violations.
On Friday, House Republicans and a coalition of Democrats moved to undo that freeze on tariffs through a Congressional Review Act resolution, which allows Congress to overturn federal rules. Republicans broadly saw the measure as a way to crack down on China.
On Monday, the Biden administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy saying it “strongly opposes” the resolution, arguing the Commerce Department rule “provides a short-term bridge to ensure there is a thriving U.S. solar installation industry ready to purchase the solar products that will be made in these American factories once they are operational.”
The statement said the president would veto the measure if it landed on his desk.
Twelve House Democrats, nonetheless, supported the resolution: Reps. Don Davis (N.C.), Chris Deluzio (Pa.), John Garamendi (Calif.), Jared Golden (Maine), Marcy Kaptur (Ohio), Ro Khanna (Calif.), Dan Kildee (Mich.), Frank Mrvan (Ind.), Bill Pascrell (N.J.), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (Wash.), Terri Sewell (Ala.) and Elissa Slotkin (Mich.).
In a statement following the vote, Kaptur said she broke with the president on his tariff freeze in an effort to crack down on China.
“The evidence of China’s targeting of our domestic solar industry required a forceful response,” Kaptur wrote. “Deploying new energy technologies in our country cannot come at the expense of America’s solar industry and the thousands of workers at Ohio’s hometown companies like First Solar and Toledo Solar.”
On the other hand, eight Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the resolution: Reps. John Curtis (Utah), Anthony D’Esposito (N.Y.), Andrew Garbarino (N.Y.), Nick LaLota (N.Y.), Mike Lawler (N.Y.), Thomas Massie (Ky.), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (Iowa) and Marc Molinaro (N.Y.).
Molinaro, a first-term lawmaker representing New York’s 19th Congressional District, said he “broke with my own party” and opposed the GOP-led resolution “because it would kneecap our advances in domestic solar energy and eliminate jobs in Upstate New York.”
“Solar energy producers have made significant investments in our communities and are supporting hundreds of good-paying, local union jobs. We can’t turn our backs on the progress we have made,” he added in a statement.
The resolution now heads to the Senate, where it could pass and land on Biden’s desk. Three Democratic senators — Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) — have all said they will support the measure, giving it more than the simple majority it needs for passage.
Friday’s vote in the House, however, indicates there is not two-thirds support to overturn Biden’s veto.