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BREAKING | Trump budget would cut loan program Lordstown Motors plans to use

Lordstown Motors Corp. is seeking $200 million from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.
(Photo by William D. Lewis)

LORDSTOWN — President Donald Trump's proposed budget would kill the loan program Lordstown Motors Corp. aims to use to update its new facility. 

Lordstown Motors Corp. is seeking $200 million from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.

Ryan Hallett, Lordstown Motors spokesman, said Monday the company has not yet applied for the loan and its business model "stands on its own without it."

"We are continuing conversations with government leaders as we explore our options, but we see it as one of our many options to consider," a statement released Monday says.

The budget proposal states: "The Budget further protects taxpayers by eliminating costly, wasteful or duplicative programs. The private sector has the primary role in taking risks to finance the deployment of commercially viable projects, and Government’s best use of taxpayer funding is in earlier stage R&D. As a result, the Budget proposes to eliminate: the Title XVII Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program; the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program; the Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program; and the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy."

"This isn’t a handout. This is a loan that will be repaid in-full with interest," U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, said in a news release. "I will be using my position on the House Appropriations Committee to block the Trump administration’s efforts to end this important program, and I will continue fighting to ensure Lordstown Motors has everything they need to do their important work and get Northeast Ohioans back to work.”

Congress members from both sides of the aisle backed Lordstown Motors' application for the federal loan in a letter dated Jan. 22. 

Two senators and eight house representatives from Ohio on Wednesday issued a letter to U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette urging an Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan be awarded to the electric vehicle startup, according to a release from Ryan's office.

The letter was signed by U.S. SensSherrod Brown (D), and Rob Portman (R); and U.S. Reps. Ryan; Bill Johnson (R); David Joyce (R); Marcia Fudge (D); Anthony Gonzalez (R); Marcy Kaptur (D); Brad Wenstrup (R); and Bob Gibbs (R).

The program was established during President George W. Bush’s administration in response to the oil crisis of the mid-2000s. Steve Burns, Lordstown Motors CEO, previously told Mahoning Matters the program was what “launched” Tesla Motors Corp.’s electric vehicle manufacturing.