WISCONSINREPORT.COM (06/19/2009) - Wisconsin U.S. Senator Russ Feingold took the case of the Wisconsin auto industry directly to President Obama yesterday (Thurs., June 19, 2009). Feingold told President Obama by phone how important the industry is to the state, and had another conversation with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. The President continues to make it clear he does not intend to meddle in decisions made by the auto industry, even though the government currently has a large financial stake in helping General Motors and Chrysler try to survive.
During both conversations, Feingold stressed the important role the auto industry has played in Wisconsin for generations, and the impact losing the auto industry would have on Wisconsin's economy and employment situation.
"I had a good conversation with President Obama yesterday about the Chrysler plant in Kenosha and the GM plant in Janesville," Feingold said.
"I told him how the hard working people of the Wisconsin auto industry are a proud symbol of our state and I reminded him of his visit to Janesville in February 2008 during his campaign," Senator Feingold continued.
"Although the President was clear, as he has been in the past, that he does not intend to ‘meddle’ in specific decisions of this kind, he listened closely and indicated he understood how important auto industry jobs are to Wisconsin," Senator Feingold said.
"I will continue to press the administration on behalf of Wisconsin auto workers who have dedicated their lives, and more recently their tax dollars, to helping the American auto industry," Feingold pointed out.
Yesterday (Thursday), following a meeting with Chrysler executives, Feingold joined Senator Herb Kohl and Representatives Paul Ryan and Gwen Moore in stating they would ask the administration to intervene after Chrysler gave no indication it is putting any effort into keeping the Kenosha engine plant open.
Last week, Feingold, Kohl, Ryan and Representative Tammy Baldwin met with GM executives to push for the Janesville plant to be the location of the new line of smaller, fuel-efficient cars.