House GOP asks Justice to investigate GM, Chrysler for illegal lobbying on climate

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-PA) asked Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether General Motors and Chrysler violated the law by using federal bailout money to lobby for climate legislation.

According to Sensenbrenner’s letter:

In recent months, General Motors (GM) and Chrysler have received tens of billions of federal dollars… Despite this massive influx of federal cash, both manufacturers have maintained at least some lobbying operations.

In addition to internal lobbying, both GM and Chrysler are members of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP). USCAP is a group of businesses and environmental organizations that organized for the sole purpose of lobbying the federal government to enact climate legislation… USCAP is frequently credited with drafting portions of the Waxman-Markey climate proposal currently before the United States House of Representatives…

The Byrd Amendment prohibits the use of appropriated funds to lobby for any award of a federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement…

The appropriateness and legality of their continued lobbying and membership in USCAP is therefore questionable…

Rep. Joe Barton recently forced insurer AIG to drop out of USCAP for similar reasons.

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