WASHINGTON -- General Motors is throwing down the gauntlet to dealers in the growing political battle over legislation designed to restore terminated dealers.
There will be no progress in settlement talks aimed at improving the lot of terminated dealerships until the National Automobile Dealers Association joins the negotiations, GM spokesman Greg Martin said.
Their absence is slowing things down, Martin said in an interview. If theyre interested in a deal, we have to have someone to deal with.
Negotiations have begun in recent weeks among GM, Chrysler, and Democratic lawmakers headed by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland.
The talks seek to head off legislation that would reverse thousands of dealer terminations.
The measure, part of a $24.2 billion spending bill, was approved by the House in 219-208 vote late Thursday.
The NADA, which has pushed for the bills, has said it wont join the talks because congressional support for the legislation continues to grow.
"We're waiting to see the outcome of the House vote before proceeding," NADA spokesman Bailey Wood said before Thursday's vote.
No specific proposal has surfaced in the talks.
Were pursuing the legislation to its logical end, which is passage and signing by the president, Wood said earlier this week. Theres absolutely no reason for us to make a deal.
The legislation would return dealerships to their status before GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy this spring.
Under the bills, if automakers want to continue with the cuts, theyd have to go through state courts.
The legislation's future in the Senate is uncertain, and the Obama administration said it strongly opposes it because the cuts were deemed necessary as part of the government-financed restructuring of GM and Chrysler.