Bankruptcy Won’t Stop GM Lobbying

Posted June 1, 2009 at 4:22pm

General Motors Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, will continue its lobbying and political operations, the automaker confirmed this afternoon.

“We believe we have an obligation to remain engaged at the federal and state levels and to have our voice heard in the policymaking process,— GM spokesman Kerry Christopher said in a statement. “It is important that we keep an open and constructive dialogue on important issues like healthcare, fleet modernization, environmental issues like cap and trade, taxation, foreign trade, to name a few to ensure that policies support the best interests of GM’s long-term viability.—

GM’s plan to maintain its substantial lobbying presence in Washington, D.C., contrasts recent arrangements between the federal government and one-time mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were bailed out by taxpayers in 2008.

The government-sponsored enterprises, which were put under conservatorship last year, were required to halt their lobbying operations and political action committee contributions as part of the takeover.

As part of the automaker’s bankruptcy deal filed in a New York court today, U.S. taxpayers will take a 60 percent ownership stake in GM. The remaining 40 percent of the company will be owned by the Canadian government and a health care trust benefiting GM’s retirees.

As of May 1, the company’s PAC had almost $400,000 on hand.

The White House declined to comment on GM’s announcement.