Friday, December 5, 2008

Big Three face Lawmakers in House

Today, the leaders of the three major US automakers returned to the halls of Congress to meet before the House committee. I haven't seen any groundbreaking news today so it appears that little was accomplished. I feel that Chrysler, Ford and GM have done their part to justify their position and cannot understand why our politicians won't agree to a deal. They eagerly throw 700 billion to unworthy financial institutions but cannot find the resolve to spend 34 billion on companies that produce our cars.

Rep. Barney Frank is doing his part but cannot seem to rally the rest of the troops. From Automotive News:

"A senior U.S. congressional leader warned today of an "unmitigated disaster" if a major U.S. automaker were allowed to collapse at a time when the economy is already losing jobs at an alarming pace....With new data showing employers axed more than 533,000 jobs in November -- the highest monthly job-loss in 34 years -- Rep. Barney Frank urged the Bush administration to use money from a $700 billion bank bailout program to assist Detroit....Broad consensus exists between Congress and the Bush administration that the automakers need help, but officials are refusing to budge from their views on how to do it, with some lawmakers opposed to doing anything at all."

The killer is the last part of the quote. No one can agree on how to fund a bailout. Congressional Democrats want to use monies from the 700 billion TARP package and the White House wants to use the 25 billion dollar "re-tooling" fund. Why not just authorize another 34 billion specifically for the Detroit 3? After spending 700 billion on the evil banks, what is 34 billion more for these major companies?

There is not much time left, so hopefully clearer heads will prevail and a solution agreed upon. Let's hope for a quick plan so we can just get back to enjoying the Holidays!

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