Texas senator proposes end to federal auto loans

Back in 2007 Congress, created the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing federal loan program to allow the government to loan up to $25 billion to car manufacturers. The federal loans were created to help provide the money necessary to retool factories and build more fuel-efficient vehicles, but now some members of Congress are looking to end the program well short of the $25 billion mark.

The Detroit News reports that Texas Congressman Bill Flores has introduced a bill to end the loan program. The Republican representative from Texas says he is introducing the bill to "save additional billions in unused taxpayer dollars." Flores added that the funds should be provided for "an immediate need," adding that the dollars have been tied up in an "inefficient bureaucratic process that has made little progress in the past three years."

The bill is being supported by many Republicans, but Democrats, led by Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow and Representative Gary Peters, are against the bill.

So far, the funds have been difficult to come by, though Ford received $5.9 billion to support 13 projects and protect 33,000 jobs. Nissan received another $1.4 billion, while Fisker and Tesla received over $1 billion in combined loans. But while those loans went through, Chrysler has been waiting for a $3.5 billion loan for over 18 months and General Motors has decided not to request any of the funds.

The loan money has come under increased scrutiny after solar panel manufacturer Solyndra LLC collapsed after receiving $528 million in loans. The White House last week launched a 60-day review of the program, likely delaying more loans until 2012.

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