Calling it victory for American jobs and our nation's car industry, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today applauded General Motors' decision to reinstate 661 auto dealerships that were closed during the company's bankruptcy reorganization last year.
"This is real economic recovery and it only happens when government proactively dialogues with the private sector and responds in a way that keeps people in their jobs and in this case kept several hundred profitable dealerships from being shuttered," said Pascrell, who cosponsored Automobile Dealer Economic Rights Restoration Act of 2009 that would have prohibited bailed-out auto manufacturers like GM from forcing their dealerships to close. Pascrell also voted with his colleagues to pass an Appropriations bill last July that included language calling for planner dealership closings to be reversed. "My colleagues in Congress and I pushed for incentives that would bring customers back to American auto dealers. Now, thanks to pressure from Congress, we are talking about another good news story about thousands of jobs that have been saved."
Rep. Pascrell began urging Congress to aid the auto industry after he held a roundtable discussion with owners of Passaic County auto dealerships in November 2008, months before the national discussion of so-called auto industry "bailouts" had begun.
At that time, the congressman called for consumer incentives including deductions for interest on auto loans and vehicle sales taxes, refundable consumer tax credits for cars and truck buyers and incentives for consumers to upgrade old vehicles with new more energy efficient models. He was ultimately successful in inserting a tax provision in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that allowed consumers to deduct their sales tax from new cars purchased in 2009.