WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) today released the following statement after Congressional Democrats held a press conference stating they will hold the auto industry accountable and demand they provide a plan for viability:
“As we said this afternoon, Democrats fully understand the importance of America’s automotive industry to our entire economy, and to the 3 million workers who depend on it for employment. We are working with leaders from both parties, and with representatives of the automakers and their employees, in an effort to protect this vital industry from collapse. However, we will not commit billions of taxpayer dollars to this effort without first knowing how the automakers intend to use it to ensure their long-term viability. Our taxpayers and our economy would suffer if we found ourselves back at this point in the near future, with $25 billion gone and the automakers no closer to health. A plan of this size demands detailed accountability to the public.
“That is why I, along with the Democratic leadership in Congress, am insisting that the automakers show the American people exactly how they would spend these loans. We need to know that America’s car companies have a plan to remain competitive and viable in the 21st century. Congress has asked for that plan by December 2nd, and both the House and the Senate are prepared to return to consider legislation by December 8th. That time will help us build consensus in Congress and instill public confidence in the car companies’ future. And by then, Congress will have more of the information it needs to determine whether loans to the auto industry are in the public interest. That is the diligence that any lender should exercise—especially when taxpayer money is at stake.”