Latest Government Shutdown Threat: Disaster Relief vs. Clean Car Manufacturing Subsidy

Once again, a government shutdown looms after Sept. 30 over funding for disaster relief. House Republicans insist that the additional spending must be off-set with spending cuts, and their target is a subsidy for electric cars and batteries.
September 26, 2011, 5am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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It goes by the name, "Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program", established by President Bush with bipartisan approval in 2007, but you could just as easily call it a retooling program for electric and fuel-efficient cars.

House Republicans insist that to pay for the recent disaster relief, $1.5 billion must be taken from this program. If the Senate doesn't agree, another government shut-down looms on Sept. 30.

"These retooling loans made it possible for Ford Motor Co. to save 1,900 jobs at their Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., so they could build the all-new Ford Focus electric and the battery-electric Focus in America," said Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, who represents Michigan.

Ford officials say 11 plants in five states benefited from the program. The company even moved a hybrid battery facility from Mexico to Michigan to take advantage of it."

DOE attributes almost 40,000 jobs - either saved or created, due to the loan program.

From Dept. of Energy - ATVM: "The FY 2009 Continuing Resolution (CR) enacted on September 30, 2008, appropriated $7.5 billion to support a maximum of $25 billion in loans under the ATVM Loan Program."

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Published on Saturday, September 24, 2011 in National Public Radio
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