Portman, Levin launch bipartisan Senate Auto Caucus

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Carl Levin, D-Mich., announced the official launch of the Senate Auto Caucus.

The bipartisan Caucus, co-chaired by Portman and Levin, will provide a forum for senators to exchange ideas and work to improve policy on issues affecting America’s auto industry such as workforce development, regulatory issues, safety, technology, and fuel efficiency.  The Caucus hosted a kick-off event on Capitol Hill today with auto companies, associations and other groups.

"America’s auto industry employs eight million Americans and drives more than $735 billion into the economy annually," Portman stated. "I'm pleased to join my colleagues in promoting policies that will help ensure the auto industry continues to grow and thrive." 

"Manufacturing is the path to the middle class for millions of Americans, and the auto industry is the heart of American manufacturing," Levin said. "The Auto Caucus will help us stay focused on helping advance the U.S. auto industry renaissance that is so important to millions of families and countless communities across the country."

The automobile industry historically contributes 3-3.5% of U.S. gross domestic product. Of the $1.7 trillion of value added to the U.S. economy by manufacturing in 2011, $76.5 billion came from the motor vehicle and parts industry. Additionally, the auto industry is a significant employer in most states, employing over 10,000 in 47 states and 100,000 in 20 states. Eight million jobs nationwide are directly or indirectly dependent on the auto industry, or about 4.5% of total private-sector employment. Leading in innovation, the auto industry employs nearly 10% of U.S. engineers and scientists that work in the private sector.

Members of the Senate Auto Caucus include:

Senator Rob Portman, Co-chair

Senator Carl Levin, Co-chair

Senator Sherrod Brown, Vice Chair

Senator Saxby Chambliss

Senator Joe Donnelly

Senator Dick Durbin

Senator Lindsey Graham

Senator Johnny Isakson

Senator Claire McCaskill

Senator Mitch McConnell

Senator Tim Scott                           

Senator Jeff Sessions                               

Senator Debbie Stabenow

Along with the strong support of automakers, the Senate Auto Caucus’ efforts are also supported by the following auto associations:

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

Association of Global Automakers

American Automotive Policy Council

National Automobile Dealers Association

American International Automobile Dealers Association

National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers

Automotive Service Association

Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association

Specialty Equipment Market Association