House approved bill to cut monies from auto loan program

This morning granted a great change for the auto industry loan program. Early Friday morning, the House approved a stopgap bill to fund the government's operations from now through November 18, 2011.

This operation will cut $1.5 billion from a car industry loan program. In addition, the bill that the Republicans won, by a vote of 219-203 will fund the government for six weeks and will provide $3.7 billion in disaster relief. Today’s bill that passed also will add another $100 million in cuts from a separate Energy Department loan program that funds solar panel and green energy projects, which is very positive for those interested in the conservation of the environment.

The particular vote that was won today by the Republicans was made on Wednesday, after the House rejected a funding bill that also provided $3.7 billion in disaster relief. The vote at that time was a loss for the passing of the bill by a vote of 230-195. Forty-eight Republicans voted with Democrats.

The Democrats were not happy with results, as they were vehemently opposed to bill's plan to cut $1.5 billion of the remaining $4 billion from the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program. This program guarantees up to $25 billion in loans to the auto industry.

Many government officials spoke out about this bill. They included House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio who shared that the government will run out of money by September 30, 2011 unless Congress approves new spending. He also said that a government shutdown wouldn't happen. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak called the latest bill "dangerous mindlessness," and stated, "When Americans need jobs the Republicans are pushing an anti-jobs bill. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township said the Senate should reject the bill. He stated, “The House should stay in session until we have a solution that doesn't punish the American auto industry.”

Still more government officials spoke out. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called House Republican efforts to cut the auto loan program "mean-spirited," and he stated, "House Republicans should stop playing political games, and pass the Senate's bipartisan bill without delay.” Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said in an email to colleagues, "While families across America are being forced to pay for these horrible tragedies by cutting back in other areas, Washington too often refuses to make the same priorities.”

Finally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers both got involved by sending letters to Capitol Hill pushing the auto industry loan program. The chamber opposed cuts to the vehicle manufacturing program, which had been suggested as a way to pay for an increase in federal disaster aid.

Thank you to the Detroit News for information on this issue.

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