WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) joined Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Assistant to the Speaker, Congressman Dan Maffei (D-NY), Congressman Frank Kratovil (D-MD) and Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), and auto dealership owners for a press conference on the recently introduced Automobile Dealer Economic Rights Restoration Act of 2009. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“We are here to defend small businesses that are integral to our communities, and to the employment of one million Americans: our auto dealerships. I want to thank Congressmen Kratovil, Maffei, and Van Hollen for their leadership in protecting auto dealerships.
“We recognize that the Administration’s efforts have prevented the total liquidation of GM and Chrysler. The restructuring process has meant the closing of unprofitable dealerships. But at the same time, dealerships that have remained profitable have been targeted as well—with no reasonable explanation provided to their owners.
“To date, we have seen no evidence that closing these profitable dealers will benefit the automakers. But their closure does endanger the jobs of 100,000 Americans, at a time when we can ill afford more job losses. No one in government wants to make day-to-day decisions for the automakers. We look forward to returning the government stake in the automakers as soon as possible.
“The dealers’ contracts should be honored. And both parties should have the right to end their partnership according to their contracts if they so choose. That’s why I am supporting legislation introduced by Congressmen Kratovil and Maffei that will help protect these dealerships from arbitrary decisions to close them. For the sake of our communities’ small businesses, I hope that our colleagues will support it.”