Bush-Era Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program Is GOP Leaders’ No. 1 Target

Job Program Is Putting Americans to Work, Producing Cleaner Cars

Washington, D.C.—(ENEWSPF)—September 15, 2011.  Congressional Republican leaders have been fairly silent about President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act proposal to generate employment and now they propose to slash $1.5 billion from the existing Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program, that employs thousands of Americans in the auto sector, to pay for disaster relief. Today the Center for American Progress released the column “Bush-Era Job Program Is GOP Leaders’ No. 1 Target: Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program Is Putting Americans to Work, Producing Cleaner Cars,” which outlines how chopping this program—signed into law and first funded under President George W. Bush—would compound economic harm by hurting American manufacturing plants and eradicating tens of thousands of jobs as companies retool to build more efficient vehicles for the future.

The Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program has about one-third of its loan volume remaining. DOE is expected to use another $2.5 billion of credit subsidies to support additional loans by the end of 2011. House Appropriations Committee Ranking Democratic Member Norm Dicks (D-WA) noted that “an additional 18 loan applications in progress that are projected to create 50 – 60,000 jobs.” These loans would create direct jobs in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, and Ohio at construction companies and parts suppliers throughout the Southeast and Midwest.

Congressional Republican leadership plans to hack $1.5 billion from ATVM to pay for the damages from extreme weather. They would shift these funds from ATVM to the Federal Emergency Management Administration, or FEMA, and other agencies in the temporary continuing resolution for fiscal year 2012 that will keep the government running while Congress and President Obama negotiate final spending bills for the remainder of the year. It makes little sense to help Americans harmed by extreme weather disasters by cutting investments in auto sector manufacturing jobs.

The American economy experienced zero net job growth in August 2011. But the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program’s proven record of job creation can help to jumpstart our sluggish economy. By loaning money to auto companies to help them retool their factories to build more fuel-efficient vehicles that will reduce oil use, the Department of Energy has created nearly 39,000 direct jobs and another 2,600 construction jobs in 11 states since 2008, while also reducing gasoline use by more than 311 million gallons annually.

To read the full column, click here.

Source: americanprogress.org