Ed Perlmutter, CO-07, voted for the bailout of Big Auto and the UAW, offering the following justification:
Based on the evidence I heard in committee, information I’ve gathered from my constituents, papers I’ve read and legal research I conducted, I voted for this bill because I believe it is essential to our national security, protecting jobs, and to maintaining the manufacturing industry in this nation.
During the past week, I have been working with House Leadership and my Financial Services Committee to ensure this bill includes provisions to secure taxpayer loans and condition any loans as senior debt – meaning the gets paid back before other creditors – in a constitutional manner. This bill ensures the debt to the is secured by assets not already pledged by the auto manufacturers.
Furthermore, I worked to include provisions that the “car czar” appointed by the President has the authority to condition any loans to the auto manufacturers as he sees fit. As the lender of last resort, the has a lot at stake, and I believe this legislation secures our loan and allows the car czar to fashion a reorganization plan for the auto makers. If he feels the auto makers aren’t making progress in restructuring, then he can call the loan or have the auto manufacturers go through bankruptcy. Furthermore if he needs more tools to enforce the restructuring, he can come back to Congress and ask for more authority.
In determining whether I could support this legislation, it was important to me that the bill include restrictions on executive pay, dividend distribution, and that the debt owed to the would not be dischargeable in bankruptcy.
It is unfortunate that Congress is even in the position to have to take these actions. I don’t want to throw good money after bad, but this bill allows us to take a step for 100 days to protect an industry that is essential to the economic stability of this country. We have done what we can to limit executive pay, stop dividend and distributions during the term of the loan, and ensure the American taxpayers get paid back first. We will see over next 100 days if these companies can be restructured. (“Congressman Perlmutter Statement on Auto Restructuring Bill“)