Reps Issa & Jordan Rip GM CEO For Coming "Dangerously Close to Committing Fraud" In New TV Ad
Representatives Darrell Issa of (R-CA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) sent a blistering letter to General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre this week accusing the company of misleading the American public. The new GM television ad suggests GM repaid its taxpayer-funded loan with the company’s own earnings when it used separate bailout money to repay the $4.7 billion balance of the original $7.1 billion government loan.
The billions General Motors paid back this month came from a different pot of bailout money. The ads also hide the fact that US taxpayers may also be forced to pay for the car manufacturer’s union pension shortfall.
Today Republican Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Jim Jordan of Ohio accused GM CEO Whitacre of coming dangerously close to committing fraud.
The Politico reported:
Republican Reps. Darrell Issa of California and Jim Jordan of Ohio have seen General Motors’ new television ad, a 60-second spot featuring Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre telling viewers that “we have repaid our government loan in full, with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule.”
They aren’t impressed.
Issa, ranking member on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Jordan, ranking member on the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, sent Whitacre a blistering letter Thursday accusing the automaker of running “false advertisements” that “constitute a lie to the American people.”
Issa and Jordan say the ad is misleading because it suggests GM repaid its taxpayer-funded loan with the company’s own earnings. In reality, GM used separate taxpayer money from an escrow account worth $17.4 billion – set up by the Treasury Department upon taking a 61 percent majority stake in the company – to repay the $4.7 billion balance of the original $7.1 billion loan.
“We are concerned that GM, under your leadership, has come dangerously close to committing fraud, and that you might have colluded with the United States Treasury to deceive the American public,” Issa and Jordan wrote. “Your false statements may expose GM to millions of dollars in damages, further reducing the value of the taxpayer-owned company. The American people, as the majority shareholders of GM, have a right to know the truth behind the cost of the GM bailout and GM’s genuine financial condition.”