Congress Asked to Investigate Whether Obama Administration Delayed GM Ignition Switch Recall

Jason ChaffetzToday, we requested that the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform undertake an “independent” investigation of the General Motors ignition switch recall delay, in light of newly obtained emails by lawyers suing GM.

Those emails suggest that the Treasury may have timed its final sale of GM shares to precede public knowledge of the ignition switch fiasco. They also cast doubt on GM CEO Mary Barra’s previous account of what she knew and when she knew it.

Here is the text of a letter I sent today to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), in photo, the incoming Chairman of the Oversight & Government Reform Committee:

At a February 2010 Oversight Committee hearing on the risk from Toyota gas pedals, you asked a remarkably prescient question: “Does the government treat Toyota the same as it does all other automakers?”

Then-Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood was unable to explain why the …

SIGTARP Report – Obama Admin Lied about GM Bankruptcy Process

For years the Obama Administration maintained that they had no significant involvement in the day to day operations at General Motors as the company was guided through a taxpayer-funded bankruptcy process. A report from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) now sheds light on the process and confirms that the Administration did, in fact, drive decisions at GM. One such decision saw GM provide taxpayer funds to “top-off” pensions for politically-favored UAW retirees at Delphi while non-union retirees lost the majority of their benefits. Treasury officials previously denied any involvement in the actions.

The non-union retirees at Delphi have been trying to get their story heard for years. The Chair for the Delphi Salaried Retirees, Dennis Black, offered the following statement regarding the SIGTARP report, “SIGTARP’s finding that Treasury was greatly involved in the involuntary termination of our pension plan legitimizes our request that Treasury …

Obama Administration Subpoenaed in Delphi Retiree Scandal

DelphiThe House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has announced that it has served Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew a subpoena to obtain records relating to the Delphi retirees’ pension scandal. Up to this point, the Obama Administration has stonewalled attempts by Congress to get an explanation on why Treasury seemed to be involved in orchestrating preferential treatment for unionized retirees over non-union retirees at Delphi during General Motors’ bankruptcy process.

An article at Vindy.com reports that the Obama Administration’s lack of cooperation regarding the Delphi case for the past three and a half years has left the Oversight Committee no choice but to subpoena the documents from Treasury. Here is a full explanation from the piece:

“Congress has made repeated requests with the Treasury for what lawyers representing the salaried retirees estimate could be as many as 30,000 documents that could help determine why they saw their pensions slashed by more

Obama Administration Still Stonewalling on Delphi Pension Scandal

The lack of transparency from the Obama Administration continues as leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee continue to try and persuade the Treasury Department to hand over documents relating to the Administration’s involvement in the termination of non-union Delphi retirees’ pension benefits. Non-union Delphi retirees saw their benefits lost while unionized UAW retirees at the company had their benefits “topped off” and preserved with taxpayer dollars funneled through General Motors during the 2009 auto bailout process.

Evidence surfaced about a year ago that the Obama Administration played a role, once again, in choosing winners and losers by protecting friends in the UAW over less-favored groups when the Daily Caller unearthed emails pointing to Treasury’s involvement. The emails confirmed that the Treasury Department was the driving force behind the termination of non-union pension benefits. The evidence suggests that Treasury officials lied when they testified, under oath, that the …

GM’s Hypocritical Embrace of Free Enterprise

sushiThe US Chamber of Commerce’s “On the Road with Free Enterprise” tour has quietly entered its second month. The main story currently on the “Free Enterprise” website is a piece titled “First Ever Sushi Tech Combats Fish Fraud.” The fact that General Motors is hypocritically co-sponsoring a free enterprise tour might bring to mind the words fishy and fraud as well.

“Beneath the deep purple cuts of healthy tuna and the smell of fresh wasabi, there lies a sushi underbelly in America that will make your stomach turn,” reads the first line of the all-important “fish fraud” story. Likewise, GM’s anti-free enterprise bailout process exhibited an underbelly of political cronyism that turned the stomach of those (like GM bondholders and Delphi non-union retirees) who saw there rights subordinated to the politically-favored UAW.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines free enterprise as: “freedom of private business to organize …

Ask GM Bondholders and Delphi Retirees About Obama’s ‘Economic Patriotism’

Obama debate photoPresident Obama called for a “new economic patriotism” during last night’s presidential debate. Well, hold on to your wallets as this new buzz phrase seems to be a euphemism for “wealth redistribution.” Just ask old General Motors bondholders or non-unionized Delphi retirees about how Obama’s so-called “shared sacrifices” are more about cronyism than patriotism.

President Obama is campaigning on a platform that constantly touts everyone “paying a fair share and having a fair shot.” Unfortunately for those that do not belong to a politically-favored class, the Obama Administration gets to determine what is fair. This was evidenced during the GM bankruptcy process where groups that were supposed to have equal legal standing saw that some are considered far more equal than others. GM bondholders were moved to the bottom of the list as the Obama-friendly UAW had its claims given precedence. And, in perhaps the clearest and most egregious example …

Non-Union Retirees Join “Hosed by GM Club”

The president of the GM Retirees Association, Jim Shepherd, sent a scathing letter last week to GM CEO, Dan Akerson. The letter was in response to General Motors’ decision to modify pension plans for non-union retirees. Mr. Shepherd stated that the non-union retirees wanted to express their “absolute consternation and disgust” and described the move by GM as not being only unfair but, “it is sheer irresponsibility and greed.”

So, on behalf of its many members, I now welcome the GM non-union retirees to the “Hosed by Government Motors Club.” As I mentioned when I welcomed Canadian taxpayers to the club, members of the club include former GM shareholders and bondholders, widows and other accident and asbestos litigants, owners of “Old” GM vehicles who did not have their vehicles’ problems covered by “New” GM, Indian tribes and others who have had their lands polluted by Old GM, …

Chevy to Build Impalas, Malibus at Underutilized Volt Plant

Volt asembly lineCBC News reports that an Ontario General Motors’ plant where Chevy Impalas and Equinoxes were built will be closed down, costing Canadians around 2,000 jobs. GM reportedly plans to partially move production of the Impala to its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant in Michigan. You may remember the Hamtramck site from the Chevy Volt commercial which trumpeted the building of Volts there. It now seems that low demand for the Volt has led to the plant having enough time to build other, conventionally-powered vehicles. While the Volt may have been the car GM “had to build,” it appears that consumers would “prefer” them to build cars like the Impala.

It is also reported that GM will build 2013 Chevy Malibus at the Chevy Volt plant. The additional tasks will give workers that produce the low-selling Volt something to do, other than stay home on paid leave as they have had to …

GM Spends Taxpayer Money to Lobby for More Taxpayer Money

According to CNBC, General Motors has ramped up its lobbying efforts to the tune of $3.58 million in the first quarter of 2011. This is nearly triple the $1.36 million it spent in the first quarter of the prior year. It is also over double the $1.67 million spent by non-bailed out Ford in the same quarter. The $50 billion that taxpayers gave to bail out GM is now partially being distributed back to President Obama, Congress and a variety of agencies in an effort by GM to, well, receive more taxpayer money.

One of the requests made by GM lobbyists is to increase the number of Chevy Volts that qualify for the $7,500 tax credit from 200,000 to 500,000. At the current rate of sales, that’s about a 100 years of subsidies! It is also an additional $2.25 billion of taxpayer money added to the current $1.5 billion …

Milwaukee Newspaper Spotlights Unfair Treatment of Nonunion Delphi Workers In Auto Bailout

DelphiThe Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today reports on the plight of salaried (and non-union) Delphi employees who are losing their pensions, health care and life insurance, while their UAW co-workers are being made whole with taxpayer funds. Delphi is a former division of General Motors. We raised the issue one month ago.

From the Journal Sentinel:

“These people are getting a firsthand lesson in the drawbacks of not being politically connected. That’s something members of the UAW and other auto industry unions don’t have to worry about,” said Carl Horowitz with the National Legal and Policy Center