WASHINGTON -- Michigans congressional delegation wants the Obama administration to help car dealers and Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers obtain more financing.
The 17-member delegation, led by Democratic Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, called on Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to assist dealers efforts to secure floorplan funding for vehicles purchased from manufacturers.
The National Automobile Dealers Association also has been urging the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department to provide this kind of financing. Treasury administers the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF.
The Michigan delegation asked the administration to consider forming a new program to fund Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers and to review whether existing programs can provide this kind of aid.
The lawmakers also asked Treasurys auto task force to consider whether the $5 billion fund for Tier 1 suppliers is sufficiently broad in size and scope to stabilize the auto supplier sector and prevent additional disruption in the supply base.
The letter was addressed to Ed Montgomery, Labor Department director of recovery for auto workers and communities. He also sits on the auto task force.
Michigan is undergoing an economic transformation never before seen in our lifetimes, said the May 5 letter, released today. This is underscored by the uncertainty of the Chapter 11 proceedings of Chrysler and the revised viability plan of General Motors that envisions a dramatic acceleration of restructuring.
A White House spokeswoman declined immediate comment.
Yesterday, a federal bankruptcy judge approved a Chrysler request to pay some essential suppliers bills for parts already delivered and to extend the companys participation in some supplier funding programs.
The lawmakers letter also called on Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve funding to Michigan applicants for vehicle battery grants, designed to promote electric vehicles, and for retooling loans to develop advanced vehicle technologies.
The requests were part of a broader package of aid sought for Michigan.