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Public Statements

Letter to Speaker Boehner - Emergency Funds

This morning, Congressman Gary Peters and Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo announced that 108 Democrats have now signed onto the Peters-Eshoo letter demanding that Speaker John Boehner not slash $1.5 billion in proven job creating loans to the auto industry. On Tuesday, Peters and Eshoo released the letter with 77 signatures and today 31 new members have joined the Peters-Eshoo effort. Momentum is building as the House races toward an expected vote on this issue today. Additionally, this effort has garnered the support of the Auto Alliance comprised of GM, Ford and Chrysler, labor unions like the United Auto Workers and the United Steelworkers and environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.

"Hardworking families can see the difference - Democrats are fighting to protect a program that has literally brought jobs from Mexico to Detroit while the Republicans are trying to kill auto jobs," said Rep. Gary Peters. "We have a growing coalition of industry, labor and environmental groups supporting these loans because we need to improve our economy, but the Tea Party Republicans that we're up against can't even say yes to jobs."

"Over 100 Members of Congress have sent a powerful message - 'don't sacrifice American ingenuity, American jobs and American fuel efficient cars' - a bipartisan policy now being turned on its head to pay for disaster relief. Disasters need not be compounded," said Rep. Eshoo. "This wrong-headed approach will rob our country of a policy and a program that works."

Meanwhile in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced during a press conference that "we're not going to cave in on this as a matter of principle, not only do they give us inadequate funding, but to rub salt in the wound, they take a program that creates jobs to pay for the first year."

Background:

September 14th: Republicans release their $3.65 billion plan to fund the government from October 1st -- November 16th. This includes funding to pay for disaster relief from Hurricane Irene, Lee and the east coast Earthquake. To pay for this bill, Republicans propose to cut $1.5 billion from the Section 136 auto loan program -- a program which was established with bipartisan support in 2007.

September 15th: Rep. Gary Peters issues a press release calling on Republicans to drop their cuts of $1.5 billion in Section 136 auto loans which has been credited with creating over 40,000 jobs and literally bringing the production of the Ford Focus from Mexico to Detroit.

September 20th: Rep. Gary Peters and Rep. Anna Eshoo released a letter which was signed by 77 Democrats calling on Speaker John Boehner to eliminate these job killing cuts.

September 20th: Senate Leader Harry Reid announces at a press conference that he is "not going to cave in" to the Republicans on this issue.

September 20th: Letters of Endorsement from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the American Automotive Policy Council (Chrysler, Ford and GM) and MEMA (Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association).

September 20th: Letters of Endorsement from the BlueGreen Alliance, Clean Economy Network, Ecology Center, Environment America, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Safe Climate Campaign, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, United Auto Workers International and the United Steelworkers.

September 20th: Letter of Endorsement from the National Wildlife Federation.

September 21st: Because of the growing momentum, 31 more members of Congress signed onto the Peters-Eshoo letter bringing it to a new total of 108.

Below is the text of the Letter to Speaker Boehner:

September 19, 2011

The Honorable John A. Boehner
Speaker
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

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 and electric vehicles. 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

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 Schultz
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 Michael F. Doyle
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Ben Chandler
Member of Congress

Jerry F. Costello Gerald E. Connolly
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Jim McDermott Bruce L. Braley
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Rubén Hinojosa Joe Courtney
Member of Congress Member of Congress

David Loebsack Yvette D. Clarke
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Gregory W. Meeks Dennis A. Cardoza
Members of Congress Member of Congress

Mazie K. Hirono Carolyn McCarthy
Member of Congress Member of Congress

C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger Diana DeGette
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Adam Smith Rick Larsen
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Frank Pallone, Jr. John C. Carney, Jr.
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Ron Kind Martin Heinrich
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Ed Towns Timothy H. Bishop
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Joseph Crowley Maxine Waters
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Jared Polis Gary L. Ackerman
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Kathy Hochul André Carson
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Betty McCollum
Member of Congress


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