For GOP, Death of Corrupt Manufacturing Loan Program Used By Obama As "Slush-Fund" Finally in Sight
For GOP, Death of Corrupt Manufacturing Loan Program Used By Obama As "Slush-Fund" Finally in Sight
Unspent money dating back years makes it an easy, yet still elusive, target
Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is no fan of the loan program for energy efficient vehicles. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
One way or another, the Energy Department’s direct loan program for fuel-efficient car manufacturers looks destined for the chopping block.
Once viewed as a lifeline for Detroit’s “Big Three” manufacturers facing economic headwinds even before the onset of the Great Recession, the program is now little more than a kitty of untapped funds appropriated a decade ago. The last major Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program loan was approved conditionally in 2015, but Arconic Inc., whose former parent Alcoa secured the loan to produce lightweight vehicle materials at its Tennessee plant, turned the money down last year.
No new loans have closed since 2011, and with $4.33 billion sitting around unspent, the Trump administration wants to “rescind,” or cancel, the vehicle loan funds permanently. The House is set to consider a measure that would drain the loan account and 37 other line items — $15.2 billion in all — likely next week. The path is trickier in the Senate; despite procedural protections expected to lower the vote threshold to a simple majority, few if any Democrats are expected to support the bill, and some Republicans are wavering as well.
For Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski, lack of interest in new loans means there’s no longer a need for the money. “I have said before that I don’t have a problem with the rescission of the ATVM because you’ve got a program that hasn’t done anything for seven years now. So for me, that makes sense,” the Alaska Republican said late last week.
A problem for lawmakers, however, is that the unspent funds — provided as a “subsidy appropriation” in 2008 to cover the potential cost of anticipated defaults — represent a pool of money to offset other things.
Two of the original program’s boosters, Michigan Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, sought to use some of the money in 2016 to clean up contaminated water supplies in Flint, Michigan. They successfully incorporated a bipartisan provision to pay for the costs by phasing out the loan program by Oct. 1, 2020, in an early version of that year’s water resources authorization bill, though the offset was stripped before the measure became law.
Aides to Stabenow and Peters did not respond to requests for comment.
When a group of GOP senators in 2016 tried to attach the same phaseout provision, though without Flint funding, during amendment debate on the fiscal 2017 Energy-Water spending bill, the effort was defeated on a narrow 48-49 vote.
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Five Republicans, including Murkowski, joined all Democrats save Claire McCaskill of Missouri to oppose the effort. Senate Energy-Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Alexander, with the Alcoa loan pending, also opposed the GOP amendment at the time. His office did not respond to requests for comment.
Many Republicans have made no secret of their desire to cut the program, even if mainly to offset other spending. In 2011, Congress approved a stopgap funding bill that included $2.65 billion in emergency aid for various natural disasters that year. Initially, the House passed a version rescinding $1.5 billion from the vehicle loan program to cover much of that cost, but the offset was stripped in final House-Senate bargaining.
Just last year, House Republicans approved an initial fiscal 2018 omnibus bill in September that cut $1.97 billion from the loan program, in order to keep the measure within its nondefense appropriations cap for the year. That was up from $1.09 billion in the committee-reported version of the State-Foreign Operations bill, after Republicans came back from the August recess and decided that after a devastating hurricane season they didn’t want to take $876 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund, as the initial Homeland Security title would have.
The ATVM program was signed into law as part of a sweeping energy bill in late 2007 with headline provisions generating support from both sides of the aisle.
New vehicle fuel economy requirements and the modern iteration of the Renewable Fuel Standard biofuels mandate united progressive coastal Democrats and corn-state Republicans. There were energy efficient appliance and lighting standards, oil and gas tax breaks, and even a title devoted to pool and spa safety.
And yes, there was the infamous ATVM program, authorized to disburse up to $25 billion in direct loans to eligible beneficiaries. The measure passed the Democratic-controlled House and Senate, racking up big bipartisan margins, including half of the House Republicans voting that day in late December, and was signed by President George W. Bush.
The program wasn’t funded, however, until the following year, when Congress appropriated $7.5 billion to cover possible costs, representing 30 percent of the outstanding principal that lawmakers thought loan recipients might be unable to pay back.
The program ultimately had its share of setbacks — out of a $529 million loan to Fisker Automotive in 2011, the Energy Department had to eat $139 million, and it took a $42 million loss on a $50 million loan to the Vehicle Production Group LLC the following year.
But three other loans have shown no signs of strain thus far, including a $5.9 billion loan extended to Ford Motor Co. that the carmaker is expected to pay off in about four years. Tesla may be having difficulties of late, but it paid back a $465 million ATVM loan nine years early in 2013. The estimated subsidy rate for the program, or the expectation of losses, had dropped to 3.4 percent by 2015, according to the Congressional Research Service, meaning that for every $100 in loans the government could expect to lose $3.40.
If no one wants the loans, why keep the money set aside? That’s the question many have been asking, including the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, which has said since 2014 that “Congress may wish to consider rescinding all or part of the remaining $4.3 billion in credit subsidy appropriations.”
Everyone’s a critic
Budget watchdog groups have largely praised the proposal to rescind the vehicle loan funds, even while noting its limited impact on the deficit — $100 million in actual savings over the next 11 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
“Given the ATVM program’s inherent risky nature and poor track record, its demise is overdue and would prevent future losses to taxpayers,” Taxpayers for Common Sense said in a statement. The group said the proposal “is low-hanging fruit that others have suggested for years, but it represents a good cut that would end a needlessly risky program.”
Business organizations have largely kept quiet so far on the proposed ATVM rescission this year, even influential industry groups that have opposed similar efforts in the past.
For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers joined most Democrats in opposing the potential $1.5 billion cut in 2011.
It’s unclear if support has waned now that the money has essentially been lying around unspent for years. Recently, some advocates have even called for expanding the program. Mitch Bainwol, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in 2016 that his group supports broadening the ATVM program to allow medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturers to qualify for loans.
Whether the loan funds could be used to lower the cost of spending bills later this year is an open question. The CBO generally won’t give lawmakers credit for offsetting regular discretionary spending with emergency-designated funds, as the ATVM funds were back in 2008.
In its cost estimate for the new rescission bill, the CBO noted specifically that the vehicle loan money, as well as $523 million in remaining budget authority for Title 17 “innovative technology” loans, can’t be used to offset regular appropriations for that reason.
A Senate GOP aide said that since emergency-designated funding doesn’t count going out the door, it should not count coming back in, noting the goal is to prevent gaming the appropriations process to increase capped spending.
But as the CBO also made clear in its score of the House-passed omnibus last September, when the Budget committees direct them to score a bill a certain way, they comply. As described by a person familiar with the process, House GOP appropriators approached the Budget Committee seeking flexibility to offset spending in the 12-bill spending package. House Budget Committee staff ran the idea by Senate Budget staff, and no objections were raised.
That led to House Budget staff directing CBO to incorporate the offset in its score. Though the Budget committees are the official scorekeepers under budget law, the panels almost always accept CBO cost estimates. Nevertheless, CBO scores are ultimately advisory. The committees can and occasionally do modify or influence the scores.
The Budget panels rarely direct scoring, and when it takes place, it is typically part of a collaborative process where the committees in both chambers are in agreement. Nonetheless, last year’s experience means that if appropriators are looking for a relatively uncontroversial offset during fiscal 2019 appropriations season, they have precedent to tap the ATVM program once again. Or if disaster strikes again this summer, the money would also be available without having to jump through scorekeeping hoops.
But first, the vehicle loan program would have to survive the latest rescissions process. And that is no guarantee at this point.
Jeremy Dillon contributed to this report.
Why Elon Musk is a really bad guy and why his business operation is a corruption scam
By Former Tesla Staff
You may have run across Musk’s self promoting, narcissistic, multi-billion dollar, self-aggrandizing PR hype but here is the other side of the coin. We know these facts from personal interaction with Musk, his companies and his politicians. Everything in this letter can be proven in a jury trial, Congressional hearings or live TV debates. Musk will do anything to keep this information from getting out but… it is too late for him! While this may sound like a bad Hollywood movie script. It all really happened and there is now massive hard copy evidence to prove it.
Elon Musk exists because he bribed DNC politicians including Obama, Clinton and Senators Feinstein, Reid, Boxer, Harris, Spier and Pelosi to give him free taxpayer cash and government resources from the Department of Energy and the California political tax pool. This is proven when you follow-the-money and the insider trading, stock ownership and crony payola kick-backs.
The Energy Dept (DOE) has been covering-up organized crime activities at DOE in which DOE funds are being used as a slush-fund to pay off DNC campaign financiers and to pay for CIA/GPS Fusion-Class attacks on Silicon Valley business competitors. DNC campaign financiers and DOE staff share stock market holdings with each other under family trusts, shell corporations and layered Goldman Sachs accounts. The deal was: Obama funds Tesla, Musk conduits campaign funds to Obama, top Obama staff profit off of insider Musk stocks.
Elon Musk is a criminal, a mobster, an asshole, a balding fake-hair wearing, plastic surgery-addicted, bi-sexual douchebag, woman-abusing, sex addicted, tax evader. We can put this in writing because all of those identifications regarding Musk can be proven in court and are documented in existing lawsuits and news stories.
Musk exploits poor people and child slaves in the Congo and Afghanistan to mine his lithium and Cobalt. Look up this phrase on the top search engines: “child labor electric car batteries”.
Musk spends billions per year to hire Russian trolls, fake blogger fan-boys and buy fake news self-glory look-at-me articles about himself. Musk thinks he is the 'Jesus' of Silicon Valley and he will do anything to make the public think so. Musk is insecure because his father was abusive and his “trophy wife” Mother is overbearing so he developed sociopath-like mental issues. Musk has been professionally diagnosed as a 'psychotic narcissist. He public stated on an investor call that he uses drugs and alcohol to get through the night. We have the tapes.
Musk relies on Google and the DNC Main Stream News (MSN) to hide bad news about him. Fake News manipulator Google is run by Larry Page. Larry is Musk's investor and bromance ‘Butt buddy’. They share an apartment. Musk uses massive numbers of shell companies and trust funds to self-deal, evade the law and hide his bribes and stock market insider trading. His brother ran Solar City and is now under federal investigation for securities fraud.
A huge number of Tesla drivers have been killed; pedestrians and oncoming drivers have also been killed, and Musk covers it up.
The DNC and the MSM refuse to allow any articles about Musk's crimes to be printed because they benefit from Musk's crimes. VC’s Tim Draper and Steve Jurvetson are so fanatical about not being embarrassed from a Tesla bankruptcy that they will pump the TSLA stock and threaten anybody who might disclose the Musk misdeeds. Peter Thiel, a Musk ‘boyfriend” also protects Musk. Musk, and his cronies, use Palantir, Google and related software to scan the entire internet every few minutes for any occurrence of the words: “Musk”, “Tesla” or “Tesla Fire”. They send trolls and fake bloggers (Many of them Russian) to put pro-Musk comments on the comments section of any blogs or articles discussing those topics and try to flood out the truth about Musk. In EVERY blog that you read that mentions 'Musk', at least 1/3 of the comments have been placed their by Musk's paid shills. There are no “Tesla Fan Boys”. All of the fanatic Tesla comments on the internet are Musk’s, Thiel’s, Jurvetson’s and Draper’s fake fanboy trolls. Musk, himself, stays up late at night pretending to be a ‘Tesla Fan Boy’on blogs.
The 'Silicon Valley Mafia; cartel of frat boy sociopath venture capitalists like Steve Jurvetson, Tim Draper, Eric Schmidt, et al; threaten those who do not support the cult of Tesla or their political candidates.
Musk holds the record for getting sued for fraud by his investors, wives, former partners, employees, suppliers and co-founders. Elon Musk has gone out of his way to hire hundreds of ex-CIA and In-Q-Tel staff and assign them to "dirty tricks teams" to attack his competitors and elected officials who Musk hates.
Musk never founded his companies. He took Tesla away from the founder: Marty, in a hostile take-over!
Musk's "Starlink" satellites are domestic spy and political manipulation tools - never get your internet from one. SpaceX is entirely a spy satellite operation.
The same kind of EMF radiation proven to cause cancer from cell phones exists in massive amounts in a Tesla.
Musk can't fix a car or build a rocket and has almost no mechanical skills.
If you pull a report of every VIN# of every Tesla ever built and cross reference that with insurance, repair and lawsuit records you will find that the "per volume" fire, crash, death and defect rate is THE WORST of any car maker in history!
Musk is a lying con artist and partners with Goldman Sachs to rig the stock market. Sachs has a dedicated team of 18 men who rig stocks and valuation bumps for Musk.
Over 1000 witnesses can prove every one of those claims in any live televised Congressional hearing! Senators Dianne Feinstein, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and their associates own the stock in Tesla Motors and/or it's suppliers and mining companies. That is why they criminally help cover-up investigations of Tesla! All of this was reported, in writing, to James Comey, Patricia Rich and David Johnson at the FBI.
Why aren’t all of those parties in prison if it is so easy to prove the crime? Think back to recent history: the heads of the Department of Energy, the FBI, The DOJ and the U.S. Attorney General were kicked out of their jobs for corruption. THIS was the corruption they were doing. They all knew about this crime but they were covering it up.
Musk took over Tesla Motors in a hostile take-over in order to exploit lithium, cobalt and other mining corruption deals for his business partners. Let’s take a look at the ‘lithium’ in Musk’s horrifically miss-engineered lithium ion batteries:
His batteries cause wars in the Congo, Afghanistan and Bolivia from the corrupt mining deals involved with mining lithium and cobalt. Lithium ion batteries are insider trading-owned by ex-CIA boss Woolsey and DOE Boss Chu. Lithium ion batteries excrete chemicals that mutate fetuses when they burn; destroy your brain, lungs and nervous system when they burn; kill the factory workers who make them; cause Panasonic to be one of the most corrupt companies in the world; poison the Earth when disposed of; can't be extinguished by firemen; poison firemen when they burn; are based on criminally corrupt mining schemes like URANIUM ONE; Have over 61 toxic chemicals in them; come from an industry that spends billions on internet shills and trolls used to nay say all other forms of energy; and are insider-trading owned by corrupt U.S. Senators who are running a SAFETY COVER-UP about their dangers.
Apple products with lithium ion batteries have been exploding and setting people on fire. Over time the chemical dendrites, or deposits, inside each battery grow worse and increase the chances of explosion as they age - LITHIUM ION BATTERIES BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKELY TO EXPLODE AS TIME GOES ON AND AS THEY AGE. This is not a theory. This is a scientific fact. That is why you hear about more and more lithium batteries catching fire and blowing up. Additionally, scientists also speculate that the increasing presence of low energy nuclear background energy and wifi energy in the environment is making lithium ion batteries explode more often lately. This theory is upheld by the increasing number of FAA reports about commercial airline cabins suddenly “filling up with toxic smoke” as some lithium ion battery explodes in someones overhead luggage. As commercial jets go higher they lose the protection of the atmosphere and are subjected to more gamma (and other) radiation from overhead. This makes the already unstable lithium ion batteries on board blow up.
"Bad Guys" have figured out how to make them explode remotely in devices by making the device electronics cause the batteries to overload. The dangers of lithium ion batteries are hidden by CNN and Main Stream News (MSN) because pretty much only the DNC people profit from them and the DNC folks control CNN and the MSN. George Soros owns part of Tesla Motors so that Soros can help conduit DNC cash.
The Obama Administration promised Silicon Valley oligarchs the market monopoly on lithium ion batteries and the sabotage of fuel cells in exchange for campaign financing and search engine rigging; United States Senators that are supposed to protect us from these deadly products own the stock market assets of them so they protect them and stop the FDA, OSHA, DOT & NHTSA from outlawing them.
Tom Steyer is a notorious DNC financier. His partner, Margaret Sullivan ran, the federal USAID agency, USAID sent all of the DNC campaign financiers in Silicon Valley a federal ‘report’ from USAID that said there was “A TRILLION DOLLARS OF LITHIUM IN AFGHANISTAN” and promised to give those lithium mines, EXCLUSIVELY, to the Silicon Valley venture capitalists if they funded and web search manipulated the election for Obama to take over the White House. We have the documents proving this. In other words, a re-up of the Afghan War was caused by Elon Musk and it killed American soldiers so that Musk could buy more mansions and trophy wives.
Alkaline, NiCAD and hundreds of other battery chemistries DO NOT have all of these problems but Lithium Ion batteries get a monopoly because of politician insider trading owner-ships.
Tesla Motors has caused far more deaths and injuries than the world generally knows about. A recent fire on U.S. Highway 101 near Mountain View, CA, burned the driver alive and killed him. In Florida two kids died in a Tesla, burned alive, screaming in agony. A man died in agony in a Tesla crash in Malibu that set Malibu Canyon on fire. A young woman, at the start of life, and her boyfriend were burned alive in their crashed Tesla. There are many more deaths and crashes than you have seen in the Main Stream News (MSN) The deaths and the cover-ups are endless.
Senators Dianne Feinstein, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris and their associates own the stock in Tesla Motors and/or it's suppliers and mining companies and they cover-up and halt investigations and laws designed to save the public. They, and their crony's, spend over $1B a year to shill and troll hype about lithium ion batteries and cover-up the dangers. Lithium ion EVs are more prone to battery fires. Experts say that their lithium-ion batteries can fuel hotter fires that release toxic fumes and are more difficult to put out. Lithium ion fires keep reigniting which explains why it takes so long and requires copious amounts of water or foam (it is an electric fire, after all) to smother the flames. Tesla employee Bernard Tse and his team warned Elon Musk about these dangers in 2008 and they got fired and/or warned to "say nothing" by Musk. Three top Tesla engineers died in a plane crash next to Tesla offices in San Carlos after two of them agreed to become whistle-blowers.
The DNC bosses, Congress people and federal executives own the stock in lithium, Solar and EV markets and use kickbacks from those markets (Especially via convoluted campaign finance laundering via Elon Musk) to finance the DNC.
The DNC bosses and Musk use character assassination as their main political tool against any member of the public who speaks out against their felony stock market scams and PizzaGate-like scandals. The Harvey Weinstein reports by Ronan Farrow show that they have teams of hired goons that they pay to destroy people's lives.
They use Black Cube, Mossad, In-Q-Tel, Stratfor, Gawker Media, Gizmodo Media, Media Matters, David Brock, Sid Blumenthal, NY Times, Google servers, Facebook servers, Podesta Group, Perkins Coie, Covington & Burling and a host of "media assassins".
Gawker and Gizmodo Media set-up the attack stories and, in paid partnership with Google, Google kicks their attack links around the globe, in front of 8 Billion people, forever. Google locks the attack articles of its enemies on the front top search results of Google search results forever, on purpose! Google and Musk are partners-in-crime. Larry Page steals technology for Google and Musk meets with Larry Page to advise him on which technologies to steal and how to bypass FEC laws. Musk has exceeded FEC campaign finance limits by billions of dollars via “in-kind” services.
There is so much more to reveal but you get the picture.
This is all being covered up because top State and Federal officials are in on it, own the stock in it and are so deeply involved in it that they could go to Federal prison when this all comes out.
This is Part 1. There is more to be released. Show this document to the United States Senate and see what they say about all this.