U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), along with Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Carl Levin (D-MI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Mark Pryor (D-AR), today sent a letter to President Obama urging the formation of a manufacturing advisory group to oversee the restructuring of the domestic automakers.
"The survival of our domestic auto industry is critical to preserving over 2.5 million good-paying American jobs and to putting our manufacturing economy back on track," said Stabenow. "As our auto makers prepare to present their restructuring plans, I urge the administration to create a group of advisors to oversee the loans. This group of experts should understand manufacturing, and the breadth of issues that face the industry. I look forward to continue working with the administration to map out an economic and manufacturing policy that will create jobs and put American families first."
Full text of the letter is below:
February 5, 2009
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20502
Dear Mr. President,
First, we would like to applaud the formation of the Task Force on Middle Class Working Families and the commitment you have shown to these critical issues. We look forward to continue working with you to rebuild the middle class and turn our economy around. As we discuss the issues, we must look at the manufacturing industry that has helped create and sustain the middle class in America.
We know you are fully aware of the transformational restructuring plans our domestic automakers were in the midst of implementing when the global credit crisis hit. Now these companies must make the tough decisions to create long-term viability in a new financial environment with increasingly difficult obstacles. We are pleased that you share our commitment to implement a 21st century manufacturing policy and to assist our country's automakers while they undergo their ambitious restructuring plans to transition into the green economy. As you know, the deadline for these plans is less than two weeks away and it is critical that we move forward with the right experience in place to oversee the bridge loans to the automotive companies.
We urge you to create a group of advisors to oversee the loans and provide the insight needed to steer our domestic automakers through this unprecedented crisis. As you select the members of this group, we would like to reiterate the importance of appointing members that not only provide an array of expertise on the challenges and complexities facing the domestic automotive industry, but also understand manufacturing.
These experts must also understand the interconnectedness of the numerous stakeholders involved in the industry. They should provide expertise on the issues facing suppliers, labor unions, dealers, shareholders and bondholders in order to complete a successful restructuring that results in stronger, more viable companies. This advisory group provides a tremendous opportunity to bring together our country's greatest manufacturing leaders to help our domestic automakers create the vehicles and technology of the future.
We look forward to working with your administration and the group of advisors on a national policy that will invest in good-paying, middle-class jobs, ensure we do not move from a dependence on foreign oil to a dependence on foreign technology, and preserve a strong American manufacturing base.
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI)
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR)