May 12, 2009

Feingold, Congressmen press Geithner on Chrysler

Last week, it was 34 state legislators who wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, seeking his help in keeping Kenosha's Chrysler plant open.

Today it's U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold and Illinois Congressmen Paul Ryan, Gwen Moore and Tom Petri who are writing to the powers-behind-the-throne, Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary, and Lawrence Summers, Director of the National Economic Council, calling for the same result.

Here's their letter:
As Members of Congress representing the State of Wisconsin, we write to express our strong concern with the Chrysler restructuring plans, approved by the Administration in good faith, and submitted as part of the company’s April 30, 2009, bankruptcy filing. These restructuring plans, if approved, use taxpayer funds to consolidate and relocate existing U.S. operations to foreign countries and undermine the federal government’s duty as a faithful steward of taxpayer dollars.

Last month, we urged you to give full and fair consideration to auto industry restructuring plans that prioritized retention of domestic manufacturing jobs. Our specific concern was centered on the future of the approximately 800 workers employed at Chrysler’s Kenosha Engine Plant, after representatives of the plant’s workforce informed us that Chrysler was reevaluating its commitment to build the Phoenix V6 engine there. According to documents accompanying Chrysler’s bankruptcy filing, it appears that Chrysler intends to cease operations at the Kenosha Engine Plant, while shifting new engine production to a facility in Saltillo, Mexico. A public statement released by Chrysler this week confirms that the company intends to idle the Kenosha plant at the end of 2010. Given that Chrysler is seeking an additional $8 billion in taxpayer money to implement this plan, bringing total U.S. taxpayer investment in Chrysler to $12 billion, we are seeking further clarification on why production is being shifted to foreign countries when adequate capacity already exists to produce these engines within the United States.

As you work with representatives of Chrysler during bankruptcy proceedings, we again urge you to work with all interested parties to curtail the impact any bankruptcy restructuring plan will have on manufacturing jobs in the United States.

We thank you for your consideration of this request, and we look forward to your prompt response.


  1. We can only wish that Paul Ryan was from Illinois.

  2. We all need to stand up and start fighting for the jobs being lost. These jobs should not go to Mexico. They need to stay here.

    Then again, there are so many from Mexico here already.

  3. Fight for the jobs fine. But if they decide to go to Mexico then we certainly should not buy those products. It takes forever to find stuff made in the USA. I had no luck finding a hair brush. American companies, but the brushes were all made in China. Let them sell to Mexico then and see if they can even afford the $3.00 an hour wage.