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Research Briefing: "Automakers Don't Deserve McCain's Disdain"

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American Government

Research Briefing: "Automakers Don't Deserve McCain's Disdain"

Governor Mitt Romney
January 12, 2008


Sen. McCain's Push For Higher CAFE Standards Reveals A "Curious Hostility" Toward Detroit

"[McCain] has a curious hostility toward America's most important manufacturing industry, one that accounts directly and indirectly for roughly one in seven jobs nationwide. ... As for CAFE, McCain is correct in stating that the industry has fought hard against higher fuel standards. As a senator whose job it is to protect American interests, McCain should join them. CAFE has cost the jobs of American autoworkers." (Editorial, "Automakers Don't Deserve McCain's Disdain," The Detroit News, 2/27/03)

Sen. McCain Has Pushed For Ever-Higher CAFE Standards, Without Regard To The Impact:

In 2002, Sen. McCain Teamed With Democrat Sen. John Kerry To Propose Higher CAFE Standards. "For the latest time since losing his bid for the GOP presidential nomination two years ago, Senate Commerce ranking member John McCain, R-Ariz., has teamed up with a prominent Democrat on legislation bitterly opposed by the Bush administration. This time, the issue is higher mileage standards for automobiles--and his partner is Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. McCain and Kerry Thursday agreed to introduce legislation that would increase fuel efficiency standards to 36 miles per gallon by 2015." ("McCain Again Teams Up With Dems," National Journal's CongressDaily, 3/8/02)

Sen. McCain Voted Against Requiring That CAFE Standards Be Economically Feasible. (H.R. 6, CQ Vote #156: Adopted 64-31: R 46-7; D 18-23; I 0-1, 6/23/05, McCain Voted Nay)

Sen. McCain Voted Against Requiring That CAFE "Not Have An Adverse Impact On The Economy, Consumer Choice, And Auto Safety." (S. 14, CQ Vote #310: Adopted 66-30: R 45-6; D 21-23; I 0-1, 7/29/03, McCain Voted Nay)

Sen. McCain Voted In Favor Of Higher CAFE Standards For Pickup Trucks. (S. 517, CQ Vote #48: Adopted 56-44: R 40-9; D 16-34: I 0-1, 3/13/02, McCain Voted Nay)

Sen. McCain's Higher CAFE Standards Are The Same As Higher Taxes:

Sen. McCain Knows That His Push For Higher CAFE Standards Is The Same As Higher Taxes. "Sen. John McCain didn't expect an enthusiastic response this morning when he touted the need for higher fuel standards to the Detroit Economic Club. No surprise, the crowd didn't exactly embrace the idea. Asked how raising Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards was 'different than raising taxes,' McCain acknowledged he didn't think his proposal would be very popular. 'I know, I said it's a tough issue. CAFE standards have to be improved. There's too much pollution in the environment, there's too much dependency on foreign oil and we're going to have to take a number of steps,' McCain told the crowd. He finished his answer to dead silence." (Amy Schatz, "McCain Urges Higher CAFE Standards – In Motor City," The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/, Posted 10/9/07)

Sen. McCain's Higher CAFE Standards Would Kill Michigan Jobs:

The Detroit News: "CAFE Has Cost The Jobs Of American Autoworkers." (Editorial, "Automakers Don't Deserve McCain's Disdain," The Detroit News, 2/27/03)

General Motors Predicted The McCain-Kerry CAFE Plan Could Cost As Many As 100,000 Jobs. "Major automakers characterize the Kerry-McCain plan as a reckless attempt to legislate technology that could curtail sales of their most profitable SUVs and pickups. General Motors Corp. says that as many as 100,000 jobs would be lost." (Jeff Plungis, "Automakers Support Alternate CAFE Proposal," The Detroit News, 3/11/02)

General Motors' Bob Lutz Said An Increase In CAFE Standards Would "Effectively Hand The Truck And SUV Market Over To The Imports, Particularly The Japanese." "With Congress warming to new environmental rules, General Motors Corp. Vice Chairman Bob Lutz says a proposal for higher fuel-economy standards that's gaining popularity in Washington would 'effectively hand the truck and SUV market over to the imports, particularly the Japanese.'" (Justin Hyde, "GM Exec: Fuel Rules Could Doom U.S. Market For Trucks," Detroit Free Press, 12/26/06)

- An Increase In CAFE Standards Would Damage GM's Large Vehicle Maker Share In North America. "A CAFE increase "would limit GM's ability to build as many larger vehicles as its customers may demand. Larger SUVs and pickups are a key part of GM's plan to improve profits in North America." (Justin Hyde, "GM Exec: Fuel Rules Could Doom U.S. Market For Trucks," Detroit Free Press, 12/26/06)

Gary Rogers, CEO Of FEV Engine Technology: "The Cost Would Be Astronomical And In My Opinion Would Bring This Nation To Its Knees From An Economic Perspective." Rogers: "If you are a full-line vehicle manufacturer and you have to go from an average of 24 mpg across the entire fleet of vehicles sold to 36 mpg – a 50 percent increase – in a short period of time by auto industry standards, say 10 years, it would require simultaneously redesigning all vehicles, all engines and all powertrains. Not even GM has the resources to begin that kind of work. The cost would be astronomical and in my opinion would bring this nation to its knees from an economic perspective." (Gerry Kobe, "The Real CAFE Numbers: Automakers Call Recent CAFE Proposals 'Radical'," Automotive Industries, 5/02)

McCain's Support Of Higher CAFE Standards Will Cost The Auto Industry Billions And Will Impact Jobs. "McCain, together with Democrat John Kerry, were initial co-sponsors of the 35 mpg (so-called CAFE) mandate that just passed Congress -- legislation that economists predict will cost the domestic auto industry $85 billion over a decade and impact thousands of jobs." (Henry Payne, Op-Ed, "Taxing Michigan," National Review, 1/11/08)

Sen. McCain Has Attacked Detroit For Not Supporting His Job-Killing Higher CAFE Standards:

McCain "Questioned The Auto Industry's Credibility." "McCain questioned the auto industry's credibility, citing past opposition to federal regulations requiring seat belts, greater fuel economy and air bags. 'Whatever it is, they've said it was going to be the end of the auto industry,' McCain said. 'It hasn't happened.'" (Jeff Plungis, "Plan To Raise Fuel Rules Fails," The Detroit News, 3/13/02)

McCain "Blasted" The Automotive Industry For Resisting Changes. "McCain blasted the automakers for resisting the changes. 'The auto industry has resisted every single change in safety and efficiency for over 40 years,' he said. 'At one time they were against seat belts. At one time they were against air bags.'" (Deirdre Shesgreen, "Senate Applies Brakes To Plan Calling For Higher Fuel Efficiency Standards," St. Louis Post Dispatch, 3/14/02)

- The Detroit News: McCain Treated Automakers Like "They Were A Bunch Of Tobacco Executives." "John McCain opened Senate hearings on the safety of sports-utility vehicles (SUVs) by treating the nation's automakers as if they were a bunch of tobacco executives." (Editorial, "Automakers Don't Deserve McCain's Disdain," The Detroit News, 2/27/03)

- The Detroit News: McCain "Has A Curious Hostility Toward" The Auto Industry. "McCain, who chairs the powerful commerce committee, has a curious hostility toward America's most important manufacturing industry, one that accounts directly and indirectly for roughly one in seven jobs nationwide." (Editorial, "Automakers Don't Deserve McCain's Disdain," The Detroit News, 2/27/03)

- The Detroit News: McCain "Has An Unforgivable Ignorance Of The History Of Automotive Regulation." (Editorial, "Automakers Don't Deserve McCain's Disdain," The Detroit News, 2/27/03)



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