For the better part of a century, General Motors has been one of the most recognizable companies in the world. They produced “a car for every purse and purpose” and encouraged families to “see the USA in a Chevrolet.” They built airplane engines and tanks to win World War II, helped develop the Lunar Rover for NASA, and promoted the development of mass transit.

GM is a family company and a family product -- fathers worked along side their grandfathers, sons and daughters on the assembly line. Auto Dealers sold GM cars and trucks to generations of the same family.

These hard-working men and women are the heart and soul of GM; yet, in the wake of General Motors decision to file for bankruptcy, tens of thousands of auto workers and retirees, parts suppliers and auto dealers throughout our nation face an uncertain future.

As the Chairman of the House Subcommittee that deals with our nation’s bankruptcy laws, I am concerned about the health care and pensions of GM’s workers and retirees. GM employees have earned these benefits through their hard work and are entitled to them. The plan that GM outlined so far would allow these commitments to be met, and I will be watching closely to see that they are.

There is no question that the deal for the new GM is tough, and it will require sacrifices from all of GM’s stakeholders, including the United Auto Workers, GM shareholders and unsecured bondholders. Some assembly lines, like the Saturn plant in Spring Hill, TN, will be idled or closed outright.  Parts Distribution Centers and car dealerships will close up shop, too.

Yet, I believe that with the help of federal bridge loans and new management, the new GM will be able to emerge from this process stronger. The new GM will still be a place for good paying jobs. And the new GM will build the affordable fuel-efficient cars and trucks that we’ll want to buy for generations to come.