Thompson Asks Halt to White House Auto Task Force Actions

May 22, 2009
Press Release

Washington, DC—U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today joined Reps. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), in a press conference to discuss their letter to President Barack Obama asking that his Auto Task Force be returned to an advisory role and the Congress be involved in crafting legislation to address the Chrysler and GM crises.

“The White House Auto Task Force was supposed to drive us to better days, not drive jobs overseas,” Thompson told the reporters.  “There are more than 50 auto dealerships closing in Pennsylvania, which is about 3,000 jobs lost.  One of the affected dealerships in my district has been around through three generations.”

Rep. Kucinich said that $70 billion in U.S. taxpayer resources were being used to close dozens of car manufacturing plants and hundreds of dealerships, which will put millions out of work just  “…to open up a market for China to sell cars in this country.”
Thompson also told the press that powdered metals manufacturers in Elk County do a great deal of business with Chrysler, GM and Ford.  “They may also suffer from the auto manufacturing plant closures that are anticipated.”

The letter sent to the President was signed by 30 Republican Congressmen and six Democrats.  It refers back to 1979 when the Carter Administration worked with Congress to create the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act when Chrysler faced insolvency back then.  That legislation received broad bi-partisan support and public acceptance because decisions were made by the nation’s elected leadership rather than by a non-elected task force.
Rep. LaTourette quoted President Obama as saying the work of the Auto Task Force won’t disrupt lives or communities, “but it is doing just that,” he said. “It is time to take a deep breath and slow this Task Force down.”