During a hearing Tuesday, New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney had nothing but glowing compliments for former Obama administration officials who orchestrated the president’s auto bailouts early in his administration.
Former Obama auto czar Ron Bloom and former Treasury officials Matt Feldman and Harry Wilson testified before a House oversight subcommittee because they have refused to give interviews to the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. That inspector general is seeking information about their roles in topping up pensions for union workers while non-union workers lost nearly their entire pensions.
Treasury’s actions during the auto bailout led to 20,000 non-union workers from Delphi losing most of their pensions. Delphi, a General Motors company, is one of the largest automotive parts manufacturers in the world. Its workers lost their pensions when the government bailed out GM.
While those non-union Delphi workers lost nearly their entire pensions, United Auto Workers union members’ pensions were topped off and made whole.
Nevertheless, Maloney used the opportunity to praise each of them.
“I just want to ask you, Mr. Bloom: Has any member of Congress congratulated you and thanked you for your hard work and what resulted in, by all accounts, saving over 1 million jobs that impacted many of our great states like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Illinois?” Maloney asked. “They’re all interrelated in the supply chain of the auto industry. I just would like to ask Mr. Bloom, Mr. Feldman and Mr. Wilson, has any member ever thanked you?”
“Today I want to thank you for your public service. I want to thank you for your hard work in saving American jobs, and I would say saving American industry and prestige. I personally cannot even think of an America that doesn’t make our own cars and now we bounce back with that American spirit, can-do and are even exporting cars and employing people and growing. I just want to know, has any member of congress said thank you?”
The former Obama officials ate up Maloney’s praise.
“Congresswoman, I very much appreciate your kind words,” Bloom responded. “From time to time other members of Congress have acknowledged that some good things happened.”
After Bloom’s response, Maloney turned to Feldman. “Mr. Feldman, has anyone ever thanked you? I thank you today,” the New York Democratic congresswoman said.
“I think this is the first time I’ve been thanked,” Feldman replied.
Maloney thanked Feldman yet again before calling him “an American hero.” She then turned to Wilson and asked him if he had ever been properly thanked for his role in Obama’s auto industry bailout.
“Thank you, as well, congresswoman,” Wilson responded. “I’ve had a few Democrats and Republicans thank me over time, but it’s always nice to hear it.”
Maloney concluded her thank-fest by calling on more members of Congress to join her.
“I think more of us some should say it: Thank you for your public service, and you saved jobs, and helped America, and grew our economy,” Maloney said. “Thank you.”