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Bush To The Rescue After Republicans Kill Auto Loan Bill

December 12, 2008

It was just plain short-sighted.  But that is the tone we have come to expect from the Republicans in the U.S. Senate.   I just can not fathom how the interests of the nation at this time of recession came in second place to their outdated philosophical notions of how government should operate in relation to the needs of private industry.  Especially when the industry in question, the car companies, impacts so fully much of the broader economy.  Even though everyone knows the needs of the auto giants, the Republicans in the Senate still decided that politics was more important than national good.

Clearly the car companies have major problems, some of their own making, while others are due to lack of Congressional pressure over the decades to force higher gas mileage standards, and other ideas on the companies.  But at this time of national economic peril it is not the time to start the larger discussions.  It is time to act.

And thankfully, and I can’t believe I am saying this, President Bush is about to act, and act correctly.  Wonders never fail to show up in the world.  But seriously, I am pleased that Bush has seen the light and will use his power to do that his fellow Republicans would not do last night.

The bill’s failure raises the possibility of bankruptcy by one or more of Detroit’s Big Three and puts new pressure on President Bush to authorize emergency loans for the automakers from the $700-billion Wall Street rescue fund, a step he has adamantly refused to take.
White House spokesman Tony Fratto said the Bush administration was disappointed by the bill’s failure and left the door open to the president taking action to provide funding.

The collapse of General Motors, Chrysler or Ford — along with many of their suppliers and dealers — could throw hundreds of thousands more workers onto the growing unemployment rolls and further cloud the closing days of the Bush administration.

“We will leave here tonight to go home for the holiday recesses, but for the literally hundreds of thousands of people whose jobs depend on this industry, this will not be a joyous season, wondering whether or not their jobs, their livelihoods, their homes, their children’s futures are at risk,” said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.).

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