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Gary P.
Democrat MI

About Sen. Gary
  • Clean Air Act Amendment

    by Senator Gary Peters

    Posted on 2014-01-08

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    PETERS of Michigan. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 724; and I would like to start off by thanking the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Latta) for his leadership on this issue and for his willingness to work with me in writing this bill.

    This legislation is simple and straightforward. It cuts red tape for small businesses and allows auto dealers to focus on selling cars and creating jobs, not unnecessary paperwork. This bill also benefits consumers. It is one less piece of paper when buying a car, so consumers can focus on what is really important to them, and that is their purchase.

    When I came to Congress in 2009, it was a very dark period for our entire economy but particularly for the auto industry. I will never forget the meeting I had during that time with Chrysler's CEO and his management team. They told me that they were not only weeks away from bankruptcy, but that without access to government loans, they would not have the resources to reorganize and would have been forced to liquidate the company. A liquidation of any of the major auto manufacturers would have wreaked havoc on the supply chain and dragged the entire industry down with it, eliminating millions of good-paying U.S. jobs.

    My State of Michigan has helped build our Nation's middle class. Our history is proof that you cannot have a strong middle class without a strong manufacturing sector, and you cannot have a strong manufacturing sector without a thriving auto industry. That is why I was proud to fight for Michigan workers and middle class families and our auto industry to secure the loans that they needed to weather this economic storm.

    Fast forward to today. Our auto industry is now driving our economic recovery and paving the way to rebuilding our middle class. Vehicle sales are at the highest point they have been since May of 2007; and vehicle manufacturers and suppliers are ramping up production, hiring more workers, and investing in innovation. That is why it is critical that Congress continue to support our auto industry and our middle class.

    I am glad to work with the gentleman from Ohio, Congressman Latta, on a commonsense solution to eliminate outdated and unnecessary burdens on small businesses. Auto dealers should not have to provide additional paperwork confirming that a vehicle complies with the Clean Air Act since every new vehicle entering the market already meets that standard. Compliance with the Clean Air Act is certainly very important, but redundant paperwork just slows down our small businesses and our consumers.

    Auto dealers are upstanding community citizens. They sponsor Little League teams, scholarships, and volunteer their time to help others. Dealers provide significant value and expertise when consumers want to purchase a new car or truck and work to make financing a vehicle affordable.

    Today's new vehicles feature innovations ranging from safety technology that makes our roads safer for all of us to infotainment packages that provide convenience and an enhanced riding experience, features that knowledgeable dealers play a very important role in educating the car-buying public about.

    So I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 724 to end this outdated burden on the small businesses that can be found in every community in our country.

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