Press Releases

(Washington, DC) – United States Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) sent the following letter to United States Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew seeking answers as to the Treasury Department’s past decision to relax executive pay limits for General Motors’ (GM) top 25 employees despite documented problems at the company with faulty vehicles: 

September 25, 2014

The Honorable Jacob Lew

Secretary, United States Department of the Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20220


Dear Secretary Lew:

I am writing to you regarding the U.S Treasury Department’s past decision to relax executive pay limits and allow excessive pay for Top 25 employees at General Motors (GM).  As the

Ranking Member of the Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, I have been actively investigating GM’s past failures to recall millions of vehicles due to safety concerns.

I am extremely concerned to learn that while GM officials were being allowed to receive excessive pay raises, they were producing defective vehicles that had faulty ignition switches that could slip from “Run” to “Accessory” with just subtle contact or by simply going over a bump.  At a time when GM’s negligence resulted in millions of defective cars being left on road, this past decision by your agency enhances the notion that the federal government was more interested in rewarding a select number of company officials instead of maintaining proper oversight over GM.

Given the fact taxpayer bailed out GM is currently being examined by government agencies for its past mistakes further demonstrates to me that, of the companies operating today, GM is by far the one company whose executives should have had their pay cut, and not inflated by the federal government.  I respectfully request that you provide me with a detailed response to the following questions.

1)      How did the U.S. Treasury Department justify rewarding a company with authorized pay raises that failed to understand how their own products were built and put the lives of millions of Americans at risk?

2)      What was the merit the U.S. Treasury Department used in deciding to reward high-ranking officials at GM that caused multi-billion dollar losses to U.S. taxpayers that bailed them out? 

This is yet again another sad example of how out of touch officials in Washington, DC are with the American public.  I look forward to your response by Thursday, October 9th.



U.S. Senator



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