The House yesterday failed to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond Sept. 30, after 48 Republicans broke with their party and voted the measure down. Democrats almost unanimously voted no, citing an inadequate amount of funds provided to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster relief, and the fact that disaster relief funds were being offset with a cut to the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing program.
Many on the left have already blasted the idea of paying for disaster relief by cutting funds that help promote cleaner, more efficient vehicles (and the jobs that go along with them). And they gained an unlikely ally today in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which sent a letter to the Senate urging it to reject cuts to the ATVM program:
Again, while the Chamber understands the importance of reducing America’s unacceptable debt and believes that all programs must be on the table, the Chamber urges you to bear in mind the facts about the ATVM loan program, which promotes manufacturing in the U.S. and is an important component of America’s energy security.
Indeed, the ATVM program has several benefits that make it an absurd thing to sacrifice on the altar of deficit hysteria. For instance, as Climate Progress noted, the program has “directly created 39,000 jobs and is responsible for another 2,600 construction jobs in 11 states. An additional 18 loan applications in progress are projected to create 50,000 – 60,000 more jobs.” Here’s a rundown of what and where those jobs come from:
The projects supported by the program would also “reduce gasoline use by more than 311 million gallons annually.”
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) yesterday blasted Democrats for voting down the CR “over a government subsidy for failing industries.” But it seems left and right agree that, in this instance, it’s the GOP that’s failing: failing to adequately support a program that is creating American jobs.