July 17, 2009

House bill blocks dealership closings

The House of Representatives approved a measure cutting off funding for U.S. carmakers if they follow through on plans to close community car dealerships.

The measure, attached to a general appropriations bill, had widespread support measured by the 242 sponsors of a similar, stand alone bill, The Hill reported Friday.

For many, the issue boils down to jobs and the fabric of small town community life, where dealerships are often among the largest businesses, Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, said.

We will not give billions of dollars to General Motors and Chrysler until they come to terms with thousands of people out of work, said Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio.

GM and Chrysler's bankruptcy plans, backed by the government, include the closure of more than 3,000 dealerships.

Potentially, the issue could build to a standoff.

It would set a dangerous precedent, potentially raising legal concerns, to intervene into a closed judicial bankruptcy proceeding on behalf of one particular group at this point, the White House Office of Management and Budget said.