Sen. Portman Defends Loan Program That Could Help Reopen Lordstown Plant

Feb 12, 2020

The Trump administration wants to eliminate a loan program that could help an electric vehicle maker with its plan to reopen a General Motors factory in Ohio.

President Donald Trump's proposed budget, released Monday, calls for ending the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program. The administration says it thinks the private sector should take the lead on new commercial projects.

Sen. Rob Portman says he supports the Energy Department loans, which could help Lordstown Motors Corp. in its efforts to reopen the GM factory to build electric pickup trucks. The company was seeking $200 million.

Portman says that Trump’s budget is not the final word.

“We’re looking for help to be able to ensure that we can get that plant up and going again, and I did support that," Portman said. "I will say that program has been in the budgets over time. In other words, (Trump) proposed in the past to cut it every year, and Congress has restored the funding. So, I continue to support the program, and we’ll see what happens.”

Lordstown Motors purchased the shuttered Lordstown factory from GM last year. Owner Steve Burns says he expects hired about 400 workers to begin.

Lordstown Motors plans to begin production of its electric pickup truck this fall.