Exhaust All Options to Help Automakers, but Don't Use TARP Funds (Rep. Scott Garrett)

This week, I joined with 21 other Republican Members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Bush expressing concern over the possibility of funding from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) being used to bail out the “Big Three” auto manufacturers.

I would like to exhaust all appropriate options in order to protect and preserve the auto industry and American manufacturing. That said, Congress has been given no guarantee that these auto manufacturers have revised their business models to sufficiently restructure their companies in order to regain profitability. I am hesitant to risk taxpayer dollars when other options for recovery have yet to be explored.

With the deficit projected to be nearly $1 Trillion next year, it is more important than ever that taxpayer money be spent wisely. The use of TARP funds to delay a bankruptcy of the domestic automakers clearly does not meet that threshold.  I stand ready to listen to ideas about how the automakers can transform themselves into sustainable companies in the long term, and provide assistance if appropriate, but their proposals thus far have been stunningly inadequate.

I join with my constituents and Americans across the country in anxiously awaiting a change in our economic conditions, however, for the long-term stability of our nation and our automotive manufacturers, my colleagues and I urge President Bush against using TARP funds for an auto bailout.