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Reps. Gary Peters and Anna Eshoo send letter to Speaker Boehner calling on Republicans to not kill auto jobs

77 members of Congress sign onto the Peters/Eshoo Letter

Washington, D.C. – Late last night, Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner calling on the Republicans to abandon their plan to cut $1.5 billion from the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program. These loans have been used to ensure that new auto technologies are developed right here in America by American workers. Since this program started, 35,000-40,000 auto manufacturing jobs have been created or protected across the country, and at least 10,000 would be eliminated if the Republican cuts were instituted.

We're working to save a program that was created with bipartisan support and has literally brought thousands of auto jobs from Mexico to Detroit,” said Congressman Gary Peters. “I'm pleased that 77 members of Congress from across the country have lent their support to this effort to save jobs and invest in our future.  While I am disappointed that no Republicans were willing to put jobs before party politics, Republicans still have time to support the American auto industry and I urge them to do so.”

In a recent Huffington Post article, associate director of research at the Center for Automotive Research, Kim Hill, directly credited this program with having brought production of the Ford Focus from Mexico to Detroit.

“The ATVM program, created and funded with bipartisan support, has created or saved thousands of jobs from California to Michigan to Kentucky,” said Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto). “We need to continue to invest in clean energy technology that will create jobs in our country and allow us to become the global leader in the advanced vehicle industry.”

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Speaker Boehner,

While we fully support providing emergency funding to those who have been impacted by Hurricane Irene and other natural disasters, we urge you not to pay for disaster relief by cutting programs that are designed to create new jobs and help ensure a strong domestic manufacturing sector.

The Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program, also known as the Section 136 loan program, was authorized in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and signed into law by President George W. Bush.  The program provides loans to automakers and auto parts manufacturers to help them retool manufacturing facilities in the United States to produce highly fuel efficient, advanced technology vehicles or components.  In 2008, Congress approved $7.5 billion of credit subsidy to support $25 billion of loans to promote the production of energy efficient advanced vehicles and component parts.

The ATVM program has a demonstrated record of success and job creation.  $3.5 billion of credit subsidy has been used to make six loans totaling $9.2 billion that created or saved 41,000 jobs in Tennessee, California, Indiana, Michigan, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio.  It is expected that before the end of the year $2.5 billion will be awarded to eleven more companies in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, and Louisiana creating or saving an additional 35,000 to 40,000 jobs.  There are already twelve projects in early stages of due diligence to compete for the remaining available loan authority and the Department of Energy continues to receive new applications every month.  These projects could create more than 10,000 jobs, but not if the $1.5 billion cut to the program is signed into law.
By 2025, automakers are going to be required to sell cars and trucks that have an average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg.  Achieving this increase in fuel economy will require the widespread adaptation of advanced vehicle technologies such as batteries.  The ATVM loans are a critical program that will ensure that the domestic auto manufacturers have the capacity to make these technologies here in the United States rather than import them from China and other countries. 

While the government has a responsibility to fund disaster response in places that were devastated by Hurricane Irene or other natural disasters, it is unconscionable to use funds designed to create jobs in manufacturing states to pay for it.  Many of the states that stand to benefit the most from this program are still suffering from higher than average unemployment rates, and are badly in need of the kind of good paying manufacturing jobs these loans will create. 

The American people expect us to act quickly to create jobs and respond to those harmed by natural disasters.  We urge you to advance a Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution that does not put these two important goals in conflict with one another and preserves funding for the Department of Energy’s ATVM Loan Program. 

                                                                                Sincerely,


Gary C. Peters                                                                           Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress                                                               Member of Congress

 

John D. Dingell                                                                           Henry A. Waxman
Member of Congress                                                                 Member of Congress

 

Sander M. Levin                                                                           George Miller
Member of Congress                                                                  Member of Congress

 

John Conyers, Jr.                                                                         Barney Frank
Member of Congress                                                                  Member of Congress

 

cc: The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

 


John B. Larson                                                                              Howard L. Berman
Member of Congress                                                                   Member of Congress

 

Edward J. Markey                                                                           Chris Van Hollen
Member of Congress                                                                     Member of Congress

 

Louise McIntosh Slaughter                                                           Robert A. Brady
Member of Congress                                                                     Member of Congress

 

Elijah E. Cummings                                                                        Fortney Pete Stark
Member of Congress                                                                      Member of Congress

 

Dale E. Kildee                                                                                   Bennie G. Thompson
Member of Congress                                                                      Member of Congress

 

Jackie Speier                                                                                     James A. Himes
Member of Congress                                                                       Member of Congress

 

Zoe Lofgren                                                                                        Tim Ryan
Member of Congress                                                                        Member of Congress

 

Betty Sutton                                                                                        Jerrold Nadler
Member of Congress                                                                       Member of Congress

 

Grace F. Napolitano                                                                          Donna F. Edwards
Member of Congress                                                                        Member of Congress

 

Luis V. Gutierrez                                                                                  Jerry McNerney
Member of Congress                                                                        Member of Congress

 

Lois Capps                                                                                           John P. Sarbanes
Member of Congress                                                                          Member of Congress

 

John A. Yarmuth                                                                                   Raúl M. Grijalva
Member of Congress                                                                          Member of Congress

 

Carolyn B. Maloney                                                                               Lynn C. Woolsey
Member of Congress                                                                           Member of Congress

 

Maurice D. Hinchey                                                                               Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Member of Congress                                                                            Member of Congress

 

Michael M. Honda                                                                                  Russ Carnahan
Member of Congress                                                                            Member of Congress

 

Janice D. Schakowsky                                                                           Adam B. Schiff
Member of Congress                                                                             Member of Congress

 

Hansen Clarke                                                                                        Bob Filner
Member of Congress                                                                             Member of Congress

 

Jay Inslee                                                                                                  Linda T. Sánchez
Member of Congress                                                                              Member of Congress

 

Eliot L. Engel                                                                                            Keith Ellison
Member of Congress                                                                              Member of Congress

 

John Garamendi                                                                               Debbie Wasserman-Schulz
Member of Congress                                                                       Member of Congress

 

John F. Tierney                                                                                         Judy Chu
Member of Congress                                                                               Member of Congress

 

Marcia L. Fudge                                                                                       Brad Sherman
Member of Congress                                                                              Member of Congress

 

Marcy Kaptur                                                                                              James P. McGovern
Member of Congress                                                                               Member of Congress

 

Dennis J. Kucinich                                                                                   Christopher S. Murphy
Member of Congress                                                                               Member of Congress

 

Bobby L. Rush                                                                                           Sam Farr
Member of Congress                                                                               Member of Congress

 

Rush D. Holt                                                                                               Doris O. Matsui
Member of Congress                                                                               Member of Congress

 

Lucille Roybal-Allard                                                                                 Daniel Lipinski
Member of Congress                                                                                Member of Congress

 

Mark S. Critz                                                                                               Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress                                                                               Member of Congress

 

Steve Cohen                                                                                              Steven R. Rothman
Member of Congress                                                                               Member of Congress

 

Brian Higgins                                                                                             Peter J. Visclosky
Member of Congress                                                                                Member of Congress

 

William R. Keating                                                                                    Laura Richardson
Member of Congress                                                                               Member of Congress

 

Paul Tonko                                                                                                 Loretta Sanchez
Member of Congress                                                                               Member of Congress

 

Joe Donnelly                                                                                              Emanuel Cleaver
Member of Congress                                                                               Member of Congress

 

Rosa L. DeLauro                                                                                       James P. Moran
Member of Congress                                                                                Member of Congress

Mike Quigley
Member of Congress