FACT CHECK: Factory Closing Ryan Cited Happened Under President Bush

FACT CHECK: Factory Closing Ryan Cited Happened Under President Bush

Congressman Ryan and Mitt Romney never let the facts get in the way of a good narrative. And that certainly was the case tonight when Ryan blamed President Obama for a GM factory closing in Janesville, Wisconsin.  The only problem? That factory closed BEFORE President Obama took office.

These are the facts:

GM’S JANESVILLE PLANT CLOSED BEFORE PRESIDENT OBAMA TOOK OFFICE

GM Janesville Halted Production In December 2008, When President Bush Was In Office. “After General Motors announced on June 3, 2008 that it intended to close the nearly 100-year-old plant by 2010, Ryan joined a core group of about a dozen other Wisconsin officials from both parties in the GM Retention Task Force. Their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, and the company suspended all operations at the facility by Dec. 23, 2008, eliminating 2,400 jobs.” [Daily Beast, 8/17/12]

Detroit News On Paul Ryan’s Statement That The President Promised To Keep GM Janesville Open: “In Fact, Obama Made No Such Promise And The Plant Halted Production In December 2008, When President George W. Bush Was In Office.” “Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan on Thursday used the closing of a General Motors plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis., to take a swipe at President Barack Obama's energy policies. He contended Obama's ‘terrible energy policies’ led to $4 a gallon gas and the closure of the company's oldest assembly plant, breaking the Democrat's promise to keep it open. In fact, Obama made no such promise and the plant halted production in December 2008, when President George W. Bush was in office.” [Detroit News, 8/17/12]

USA Today Fact Check: Ryan’s Claim That President Obama Broke A Promise To Keep Janesville Open “Left Out…The Detail That The Plant Stopped Production In December 2008, Before Obama Took Office.” “At a campaign stop in Ohio on Thursday, Rep. Paul Ryan noted that the GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wis., shuttered its operations despite Barack Obama's promise to ‘keep the plant open.’ What Ryan left out of the narrative: the detail that the plant stopped production in December 2008, before Obama took office… The plant stopped production on Dec. 23, 2008, according to an Associated Press report.” [USA Today, 8/16/12]

AS PART OF GM’S BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS, THE PLANT WAS MOVED TO “STANDBY” STATUS – MEANING IT WOULD BE AMONG PLANTS FIRST IN LINE TO REOPEN IF GM NEEDED ADDITIONAL CAPACITY

June 2009: As Part Of GM’s Bankruptcy Proceedings, The Janesville Plant Was Among Three Plants Closed Or Set For Closure That The Company Was Either Restarting Or Moving To “Standby” Status. “The chances of Janesville's General Motors plant producing cars again just went up. GM announced Monday it was filing for bankruptcy, and part of the company's reorganization includes building a new, small car at one of three plants that are closed or are scheduled to close: Spring Hill, Tenn. Orion, Mich. Janesville, Wis. But that's not all. The two plants that aren't chosen to make the new car will continue to be on what GM calls ‘standby capacity status.’” [Janesville Gazette, 6/2/09]

Ø  “Standby” Status Means That It Would Be Among Plants “First In Line To Reopen In Case GM Needs More Production Capacity Than It Now Predicts.” “The two plants that aren't chosen to make the new car will continue to be on what GM calls ‘standby capacity status.’ That means they are first in line to reopen in case GM needs more production capacity than it now predicts, GM spokesman Chris Lee said.” [Janesville Gazette, 6/2/09]

September 2011: Center For Automotive Research Chairman David Cole Said The Janesville GM Plant Is “Next In Line” To Be Restarted By General Motors. “David Cole, chairman of the Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research, has long maintained that both plants could come back online. His oft-made prediction that Spring Hill would precede Janesville appears correct. Cole said Wednesday that he was not at all surprised by the extent of work committed to the Spring Hill plant, work that the UAW has said originally was slated for Mexico. The automaker, he said, is stretching its capacity and adding shifts at its 11 operating U.S. plants. ‘You can put Spring Hill on the table as a victory for the UAW, but I think GM is getting to the point that it really will need the capacity,’ Cole said. ‘And, of course, after Spring Hill, Janesville is next in line.’ Cole said GM is making that commitment to Spring Hill now, even though projections call for the U.S. auto market to sell 11.5 million to 12 million vehicles this year.” [Janesville Gazette, 9/22/11]

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AWARDED A $5.9 MILLION GRANT TO HELP WORKERS IN AND AROUND JANESVILLE TO HELP DISPLACED AUTO WORKERS AND RESTART ECONOMIC GROWTH

June 2010: The Obama Administration Announced A $5.9 Million Grant To The University Of Wisconsin-Whitewater To Administer The Auto Adjustment Entrepreneurial Support Initiative Help To Businesses In Six Regions In Southeastern Wisconsin And North-Central Illinois. “U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced a $5.9 million U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to administer the Auto Adjustment Entrepreneurial Support Initiative, which provides comprehensive entrepreneurial support to businesses in six regions in Southeastern Wisconsin and North-Central Illinois.” [Department Of Commerce Press Release, 6/18/10]

Ø  The University Of Wisconsin-Whitewater Used The Grant To Fund Its “State Of Ingenuity” Project, Which Brings Together 9 Partners And 30 Collaborators “Tailoring Aid For Entrepreneurs Looking To Take An Idea Or Plan To Fruition.” “The ‘State of Ingenuity’ project focuses on a six-county region in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois hard hit by floods in 2008 and now struggling because its auto industry presence is greatly diminished or gone. The project recognizes that entrepreneurs are key for this region to diversify…The project - with a three-year $5.9 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration - brings together nine partners (and their parts) and about 30 other collaborators, tailoring aid for entrepreneurs looking to take an idea or plan to fruition.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7/28/10]

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Headline: “Grant To UW-Whitewater Will Help Retrain Auto Workers.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/21/10]

“Help Is On The Way For Displaced Auto Workers In The Stateline… The Grant Will Help Displaced Workers In Six Counties Including Winnebago, Boone And Rock Counties.” “Help is on the way for displaced auto workers in the Stateline. The University of Wisconsin Whitewater received a nearly $6 million grant to start up the Auto Adjustment Entrepreneurial Support Initiative. The initiative will help with the start up and expansion of business in the region, retrain workers and develop clean energy businesses and jobs. The grant will help displaced workers in six counties including Winnebago, Boone and Rock Counties.” [WIFR Wisconsin, 6/23/10]

THE AUTO RESCUE SAVED OVER A MILLION JOBS, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF JOBS HAVE BEEN CREATED SINCE

Center For Automotive Research: The Auto Industry Rescue Saved Over 1.1 Million Jobs In 2009, And Over 310,000 Jobs In 2010. “The May results estimated that the outcomes of the orderly bankruptcy proceedings would save 1.28 million jobs in 2009, while the current review estimates slightly lower job savings of 1.14 million jobs. For 2010, original estimates (of orderly bankruptcies vs. unsuccessful proceedings) were that 267,300 jobs would be saved, while the current review estimates that 314,400 jobs were preserved.” [Center for Automotive Research Report, 11/7/10]

Since Chrysler And GM Retooled In June 2009, The American Auto Industry Has Added A Quarter Of A Million Jobs.  According to Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics survey data, motor vehicle and parts manufacturing and motor vehicle and parts retail trade sectors employed 2,252,100 Americans in June 2009. In July 2012, these sectors employed 2,501,700 Americans – an increase of 249,600 jobs. [Bureau Of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics Survey Database, Accessed 8/3/12]

Ø  This Represents The Strongest 37 Month Period Of Job Growth Since President Clinton Was In Office. Since Chrysler and GM retooled in June of 2009, the auto industry has added 249,600 jobs. The last 37 month period with industry job growth this large was between May 1994 and June 1997, when the auto industry added 260,000 jobs. [Bureau Of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics Survey Database, Accessed 8/3/12]