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The GOP tries to squeeze Dems on a gas-powered vehicle vote after autoworkers went on strike

House Democrats who voted Thursday night on allowing state-level limits or bans on gas-powered vehicles are already facing political heat from the GOP following the United Auto Workers of America’s strike announcement.

The House’s 222-190 vote on Thursday to halt restrictions on gas-powered vehicles followed efforts by California lawmakers to ban the sale of them by 2035 — but it became more politically volatile following the autoworkers’ strike announcement. The UAW has long looked askance at the White House and Democrats’ push for electric vehicles, as have midwestern states that rely on auto-industry jobs to fuel their local economies.

Republicans took particular aim at their rust-belt foes, starting with Senate hopeful Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.).

“Last night, Elissa Slotkin chose her party over Michigan by voting to ban gas cars,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesperson Maggie Abboud said in a Statement. “Slotkin’s commitment to extreme progressive ideas will hurt Michigan manufacturing.”

Slotkin, who’s consolidating her party’s support in one of next year’s most closely watched battleground races, said in a statement that “I know Donald Trump has made electric vehicles his new ‘woke’ culture war. Those vehicles are going to be made. And I am always going to pick Team America over Team China making those damn vehicles.”

Of note: Slotkin has vocally supported the UAW strike. She posted Friday on X, formerly known as Twitter, that she is headed to the picket lines to support workers.

The bigger picture: Though Democrats are largely supportive of labor organizing efforts and the wave of strikes America is seeing this summer, that doesn’t mean they’ll always align with every position that a union takes, such as the UAW’s skepticism of gas-powered cars.

Which means that House members running for Senate in swing states could also face tough questions over the vote — or their stance on electric vehicles in general. Only eight Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the bill. Republicans voted unanimously for it.

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