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Senate GOP Opposes Bush Administration’s Auto Bailout

Senate GOP Opposes Bush Administration’s Auto Bailout

The Bush Administration’s controversial auto bailout plan seems headed for failure in the Senate, despite the fact that it made it through the House last night in a 237-170 vote. The $14 billion plan, brokered by the White House, would send emergency loans to General Motors and Chysler with the intent to have them postpone a decision about bankruptcy until March.

But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans broke with the White House and resoundingly denounced the bill, instead supporting a five-page amendment from Senator Bob Corker.

Politico has the details:

In essence, Corker would toughen the underlying administration bill by setting out specific steps which bondholders and labor must take to reduce GM’s debt and operating costs by the end of March or see the company go into bankruptcy.

Corker’s proposal has drawn the interest of GM management–given the company’s dire cash situation. And after discussions between Corker and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), United Auto Workers staff came to the Capitol and were meeting with Democratic and Republican aides to see if some agreement could be reached on language.

Look for action on the Corker amendment to come soon, since any changes to the bill would have to be run through the House again, and representatives have been making plans to return home. The Bush Administration would prefer to reach out to reticent senators personally in an effort to get the existing measure passed, according to The Hill.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino declined to tell reporters which senators Bush is targeting, but said he is making the case that legislation to be taken up in the Senate “is the most effective and reasonable approach” to helping the ailing domestic auto industry.

Perino said there “is a chance” the measure will pass.

Should Congress pass the $14 billion auto bailout? Leave your views in the comments.

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6 comments

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3:46PM PST on Dec 14, 2008

I was not against the auto bailout until I began watching the GOP Congressional Hearings on CNN. It was the automakers, and their admitting to their intentions to further automate the production industry, to further cut their labor costs that began to sway my opinion. When all three said that the job cuts that they were making, were going to happen whether they got the money or not. That changed my mind. The fact that they flew up to the Hearings in their corporate jets at $20,000 dollars a pop didn't make me think that they should not be helped out. It was their statements to the Congressional Hearing Officers that made me say no.
Ford's Ceo whose name I can not think of off the top of my head stated, that they through outsourcing, and automation had already cut their labor cost in half, and they intend to be fully automated by 2020, cutting almost their entire American work force by that time.
GM, and Chrysler stated the same.
Auto workers should be fighting the automation of their plants if they want to keep their jobs.
Chrysler, GM, and Ford all said that though it costs them less than $50.00 production cost, because they make so many, that the cost to you and I would be in the $30,000.00 dollar range for their products on the low end, by the end of 2009, and interest rates will also be increased by at least 6% per customer.
I may sound as if I have a lack of compassion for auto workers, but I don't. My heart goes out to them, but they have been well aware of

10:19AM PST on Dec 13, 2008

PLus just wait, they might get some money from the govt. some where, then file bankruptcy anyways to bust up the unions, then move there companies overseas some where to rebuild, thus completely screwing ALL of America and the American worker!! Yeah good riddance to all of them auto companies... especially after they screw all of America.

9:27AM PST on Dec 13, 2008

Brian...UAW has given concessions to the government but the republicans are the one's who want to blame the working class people for the wrongs that the management of these companies have made! The workers pay their taxes, so that bail out money comes from them(as well as you and me) and you want them to take pay cuts as well? They get screwed twice,eh,Nice. If you had a good paying job that had good benefits then you would not want to lose that job either I guarantee it! Especially if you have families to take care of! These companies not only effect these workers but all the companies who have employees who make the parts for the auto companies etc will be effected so it is likely more than 3 million will be out of jobs which will sink the economy even more. Nice way to end the year. The CEO's of these companies need to fired! The CEO's DO NOT deserve the money they get to keep! Cut their pensions, benefits and salaries to near nothing or make them invest their own money into their own companies...

8:47AM PST on Dec 12, 2008

While I agree with most of what Heather is saying, it isn't about 'rustling up 15 billion bucks'. I heard with my own 2 ears in an interview the CEO of GM say that "15 billion should be plenty to get us through into the next administration and then we'll talk to them about what more we think we'll need." So it's not just about the 15... they want more. When does it end? We can't just give them money forever.

7:21AM PST on Dec 12, 2008

Brian, I'm shocked to read your comment. So, the bankers and financiers who created products they didn't understand and saw the crisis coming get $1 trillion with no strings, and we can't rustle up $15billion for folks to buy a little time for an industry that impacts millions of families to restructure? It's not just about anger anymore. There are real consequences to this. And for the GOP to blame it on the UAW is as transparent as it is craven.

10:01PM PST on Dec 11, 2008

The uaw blew the deal these people dont deserve the jobs they have and never earned the wages they were paid! The whole country in crisis and these I Me Mine lazy asses cant make a sacrifice until 2011. Down with GM down with the uaw gangsters! It is time for this dinosaur of an industry to fall and I say good riddence to them all!

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