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Bill to Reopen Shuttered Dealers Wins Committee Approval

Posted: Jul 09, 2009 10:27 a.m.

The dealers that were closed by Chrysler or slated to be closed by GM may have a new lease on life.

The Detroit Free Press reports, "By a unanimous vote, a U.S. House committee has approved a measure that would restore 2,100 dealers either cut or scheduled to be closed by General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Group LLC."

The bill is slated to move to the floor of the House for a full debate next Wednesday. The move comes after protests from the 789 Chrysler dealerships that the company forced to close in June. More GM dealerships are slated to close within the next year.

The Detroit News says, "U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, R-Ohio, said the proposal would "force Chrysler and GM to restore franchise agreements that were killed in bankruptcy proceedings or terminated by automakers." The amendment passed late Tuesday on a voice vote to the Financial Services spending bill, which has the support of Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., the House Appropriations Committee chairman."

The Free Press notes, "The vote comes amid growing support in the House for the proposal, with more than 200 cosponsors signed on to a similar bill. Dealers will hold a lobbying event next Tuesday to press for the plan in the House and Senate."

Left Lane News says "Not surprising, General Motors opposes the House bill. "Such legislation, if passed, would put our long-term viability at risk," GM spokesman Greg Martin said." Chrysler has not released a statement on the bill yet.  The Free Press also reports, "The White House also declined to comment today, but the Obama administration has told lawmakers and industry officials that it strongly opposes the measure."

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