Rep. Kelly to Treasury Sec. Lew: Were Auto Dealership Closures Political?

May 17, 2013 Issues: Government Oversight and Reform

WASHINGTON — Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today regarding a letter he authored and submitted to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew inquiring about possible political motivation involved in the nationwide post-bailout closures of auto dealerships in 2008 and 2009. The letter was co-signed by Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH) and Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA).

“The IRS’s now-confirmed targeting of conservative groups is a frightening reminder that no branch or department of the federal government is immune from overstepping legal and ethical boundaries. Oftentimes holding government accountable means having to dig for the truth, which is exactly what this letter is about. The Treasury Department’s Inspector General report from the aftermath of the auto bailouts indicated that ‘little or no documentation of the decision-making process to terminate or retain dealerships’ exists, making it ‘impossible in many cases’ to determine if decisions deviated from ‘supposedly objective criteria.’ In light of the department’s unthinkable breaches of public trust still being revealed by the IRS scandal, my colleagues and I have a duty to examine whether auto dealers across the country saw their businesses close as a result of similar political profiling.”