Congressman Tim Ryan Urges Funding for Program that Could Help GM Lordstown
Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) urged President Trump on Thursday to request funding for the Department of Energy’s Domestic Manufacturing Conversion Grant Program in his upcoming Fiscal Year 2020 Presidential Budget. General Motors’ Lordstown facility would be a prime candidate to use the funding. The program would provide grants and loan guarantees to automobile manufacturers who are interested in producing efficient hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, and advanced diesel vehicles. The program gives special priority to the refurbishment or retooling of manufacturing facilities that have recently ceased operation or will cease operation in the near future.
“The announced closure of GM Lordstown has hit our community hard. Thousands of families are having to make difficult decisions to make ends meet – some of them leaving everything behind to look for work, while others are holding on hope that something might change. The President promised he would bring manufacturing jobs back to my district, and this conversion grant program would be a strong first step in that direction. We need to be prepared for the future of automation, and upgrading the Lordstown facility for efficient hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, and advanced diesel vehicles would go a long way for Northeast Ohio. I urge President Trump to honor his commitment and help Lordstown,” said Congressman Ryan.
The full letter can be found below or viewed here:
February 28, 2019
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump:
On behalf of my constituents, I respectfully urge you to include funding for the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Domestic Manufacturing Conversion Grant Program in your Fiscal Year 2020 Budget.
As you know, General Motors (GM) announced it would lay off nearly 14,000 salaried workers and halt production at five North American plants in 2019. One of these plants, GM Lordstown, is in my congressional district. Once the proud maker of the Chevrolet Cruze, the Lordstown facility has suffered from falling consumer demand for compact cars. In the absence of a new product, GM Lordstown facility will be shuttered indefinitely—leaving over 1,400 employees out of work.
In Section 132 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), Congress established the Domestic Manufacturing Conversion Grant Program to encourage domestic production and sales of efficient hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, and advanced diesel vehicles. This program provides grants and loan guarantees to automobile manufacturers and suppliers, giving special priority to the refurbishment or retooling of manufacturing facilities that “have recently ceased operation or will cease operation in the near future.” GM Lordstown is a prime candidate for this conversion program. However, it has not been funded.
Mr. President, you have publicly stated your commitment to standing up for American workers and bringing back manufacturing jobs. Your Fiscal Year 2020 Budget should honor and reflect this pledge of support. At a time when thousands of hardworking Americans are at risk of losing their livelihoods, I ask that you include a budget request for the Domestic Manufacturing Conversion Grant Program. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Member of Congress