What a Disaster: GOP Cuts Clean Vehicle Jobs Program to Pay for Extreme Weather Relief
Providing assistance to the families and businesses harmed by recent disasters is essential for their lives and our economy. Unfortunately, stripping funds from ATVM would hurt employment. The ATVM loans to six companies have already created up to 42,000 jobs. Taking some of the unspent funds from ATVM for disaster relief shouldn’t affect these loans but it will make it impossible to fund the 18 pending loan applications worth a total investment of $9.8 billion and cost up to 43,500 jobs.
Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) argued that helping communities affected by natural or climate disasters should not prevent assistance for areas damaged by the economic downturn. He stated, ‘We should fund recovery efforts in Eric Cantor’s District [Virginia], but not at the expense of programs designed to address the economic disaster that hit Michigan and other manufacturing states.’
In addition, defunding investment in automotive advanced technology would benefit foreign auto manufacturing facilities at the expense of domestic plants. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), the creator of the ATVM program, noted that the proposed CR ‘would drive advanced technology jobs overseas.’
Further, many of the disaster funds would go to help people suffering from floods, storms, and other types of extreme weather linked to climate change. Cutting funding for advanced vehicles that would produce less carbon dioxide pollution to pay for extreme weather disaster relief is like cutting funds for Smokey the Bear’s fire prevention campaign to pay for forest fire damage.