Below The Beltway

I believe in the free speech that liberals used to believe in, the economic freedom that conservatives used to believe in, and the personal freedom that America used to believe in.

The Auto Bailout Is Dead, For Now

by @ 11:33 pm on December 11, 2008. Filed under Auto Industry, Business, Economics, Politics

The plan to bail out the auto industry died tonight in the Senate:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A $14 billion emergency bailout for U.S. automakers collapsed in the Senate Thursday night after the United Auto Workers refused to accede to Republican demands for swift wage cuts.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was “terribly disappointed” about the demise of an emerging bipartisan deal to rescue Detroit’s Big Three.

He spoke shortly after Republicans left a closed-door meeting where they balked at giving the automakers federal aid unless their powerful union agreed to slash wages next year to bring them into line with those of Japanese carmakers.

The final coup de grace came shortly after 11pm, when an effort to invoke cloture on the proposed bailout failed to come up with the 60 votes necessary to move forward.

There’s no question that this was a tremendous victory. Only two months ago, the Senate overwhelmingly approved the $ 700 billion financial industry bailout in the face of strong public opposition, thanks largely to a Republican caucus that rolled over and played dead rather than fight for the principles it claims to stand for.

This time ? They stood and fought, thanks to pressure from the voters no doubt, and they won.

What does that tell you ?

This isn’t over, of course, as Leslie notes, we’ll likely face this battle again in January against far less promising odds, but that’s for another day. For now, though, it’s a job well done.

2 Responses to “The Auto Bailout Is Dead, For Now”

  1. Doug, I was no fan of any of these bailoouts, but I really have a hard time with these Senators banging on middle class autoworkers over a $14 billion deal when they gave away the store to the tune of $700 billion to their Wall Street financiers, with basically no strings attached. The double standard here is appalling.

  2. Homer Hooker says:

    Help me out here:

    The southern republican Senators of three states that have foreign auto companies in their states have vowed to stand in the way of the auto “bailout.” The GOP is asking the UAW to make concessions to work for wages and the same (no) benefits that the non-union workers of the foreign auto manufactures have. Now, aren’t these the same folks who rant and rage about illegal immigrants forcing lower wages against American workers? Aren’t these the same folks who rant and rage about the “unfair” labor practices of China, Korea, and Japan? Aren’t these many of the same folks who supported Ronald Reagan an he ranted and raged about supporting Leck Wolensa and the Polish trade unions…even as he destroyed the Air Traffic controller union in this country? I ask you: why don’t Republicans like American workers? Shouldn’t Obama team be making a big deal about this hypocrisy? Isn’t this like out-sourcing American jobs right here at home? Isn’t this like putting the American worker and our economic system last? I am surprised that the leaders of the UAW don’t make this a bigger issue. It should hurt the GOP for years to come. Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the talk radio trash-talkers are all a part of this hate the unions in this country. They simply don’t want to see labor paid decent wages for a decent day’s work. (You know, being paid 16 million for sitting on your fat butt and trash-talking is worth so much more than actually working for a living.

[Below The Beltway is proudly powered by WordPress.]