Senator Mike Johanns, Republican of Nebraska, said the administration, by virtue of its ownership in the automakers, appears “heartless and indifferent” as so many workers lose their jobs.“Unfortunately it is the taxpayers’ money that you are largely managing,” said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas, a state where 50 Chrysler dealers were closed, “and I just think we have a requirement not only to help the people where plants are closed but the many communities and dealers that are getting shafted.”But Mr. Bloom said decisions on plant closing and dealer terminations, though necessary, were made by company executives and not government officials.
"There are profitable dealers that are being closed," said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). "And I still don't understand -- when the dealer buys the car, the dealer provides the real estate, the dealer provides the showroom and the repairs, and rents the signs, how is it a drag on the company?"
TIMELINE OF SENATOR HUTCHISON’S EFFORTS FOR AUTO DEALERS
May 13, 2009
Chrysler sent letter to dealers informing them of their termination.
May 21, 2009
Senator Hutchison offered amendment to emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill that stated, “No funds shall be expended from the Treasury to an auto which has notified a dealership that it will be terminated without providing at least 60 days for that dealership to wind down its operations and sell its.”
Senator Hutchison’s amendment acquired thirty-nine bipartisan co-sponsors.
At the close of debate, Senator Hutchison refused to yield back time, effectively holding up final vote of the Supplemental Appropriations Bill until Chrysler President and CEO William Press assured her that Chrysler was taking the appropriate measures to help automotive dealers across the country.
Ultimately, Mr. Press promised in this letter to work with rejected dealers to move inventory.
Senator Hutchison then announced on the U.S. Senate floor that the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation intended to hold a hearing onGM and Chrysler’s termination of franchise agreements nationwide.
May 22, 2009
Senators Rockefeller and Hutchison, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and respectively, sent Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli and GM CEO Fritz Henderson a letter informing them of their intent to hold a hearing focusing on their companies’ termination of franchise agreements and its impact on consumers and automotive dealers.
June 3, 2009
Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held hearing on GM and Chrysler down sizing.
Senator Hutchison questioned Mr. Press about dealership closures at hearing.
Source: Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison