During an appearance on Newsmax this week, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) pointed out that Joe Biden has stretched the application of the federal Defense Production Act (DPA) beyond recognition by invoking it to purchase Chinese solar panel parts with taxpayer funds.
Johnson said that since the White House has been completely incapable of explaining what emergency exists or has been declared to invoke the DPA for that purpose, it is a “lawless act.” He went on to say that because the administration has the “media in their back pocket,” they know they will be backed up by the press.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre falsely claimed that the U.S. is facing a current electricity shortage that can be alleviated by solar panels in her attempt to justify Biden’s use of the DPA.
She said that when Biden “takes the Defense Production Act, it’s to make sure that he’s delivering for the American people.” She described the DPA as an important tool that has been “incredibly effective.”
The DPA was enacted in 1950 to address emergency shortages resulting from the Korean War and gives the president the power to compel private industries to increase production goods needed for defensive purposes during a qualified emergency.
Some American manufacturers of solar panel components criticized the move by the Biden White House earlier this week to declare a two-year break on imposing tariffs and import duties on Chinese solar panels. They say the decision is bringing in unnecessary competition from the communist nation.
Biden also claimed authority under the DPA earlier this year to increase production of electric vehicle batteries. That increase in supply fits with the administration’s plans for demanding that half of new car sales be for electric vehicles by 2030.
Biden began taking steps to cripple domestic gas and oil drilling investments and production as soon as he assumed office in January 2021. Even so, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNN this week that there is nothing much the administration can do to reduce all-time record gas prices. She said that is “unfortunately the brutal reality.”
Johnson told Newsmax that the White House has instead “done everything it could” to increase energy prices and to promote the record gas prices hammering working Americans.