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.