Auto Bailout Talks Collapse in the Senate
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: December 11, 2008
Filed at 11:36 p.m. ET
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.
The collapse came after bipartisan talks on the auto rescue broke down over GOP demands that the United Auto Workers union agree to steep wage cuts by 2009 to bring their pay into line with Japanese carmakers.
Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hoped President George W. Bush would tap the $700 billion Wall Street bailout fund for emergency aid to the automakers. General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC have said they could be weeks from collapse. Ford Motor Co. says it does not need federal help now, but its survival is far from certain.
The White House said it was evaluating its options in light of the breakdown.
''It's disappointing that Congress failed to act tonight,'' a White House statement said. ''We think the legislation we negotiated provided an opportunity to use funds already appropriated for automakers and presented the best chance to avoid a disorderly bankruptcy while ensuring taxpayer funds only go to firms whose stakeholders were prepared to make difficult decisions to become viable.''
The Senate rejected the bailout 52-35 on a procedural vote -- well short of the 60 required -- after the talks fell apart.
The implosion followed an unprecedented marathon negotiations at the Capitol among labor, the auto industry and lawmakers who bargained into the night in efforts to salvage the auto bailout at a time of soaring job losses and widespread economic turmoil.
The group came close to agreement, but it stalled over the UAW's refusal to agree to wage cuts before their current contract expires in 2011. Republicans, in turn, balked at giving the automakers federal aid.
Reid called the bill's collapse ''a loss for the country,'' adding: ''I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It's not going to be a pleasant sight.''
''In the midst of already deep and troubling economic times, we are about to add to that by walking away,'' said Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., the Banking Committee chairman who led negotiations on the package.
I have watched, as the Republican Rat Bastards and their ilk in the media, have attacked the Auto Industry, mainly by maligning the unions.
Because, that's what this is all about.
Those lowlife mofos, want to bust the auto unions. They want everyone to live in constant and consistent fear of losing their jobs, and being abused as they are in those plants in the south. Mofos like Richard Shelby want all states to be as ass-backwards as his Alabama.
They didn't say SHIT about how much the folks on Wall Street were making. BUt a blue collar guy, making a decent wage, oh no, we can't have that, now can we.
I'm so mad about this, I can barely type.
There are MILLIONS of jobs attached to the auto industry. But, these blood sucking mofos could care less. They could care less about the American Worker making a living that is actually decent. That has something like benefits. That has a wage where he can live with his family, and maybe even save up.
Have the auto companies been mismanaged? Of course they have. Nobody doubts this.
But, to listen to the constant refrain of the GOP rat bastards trying to place this on the UAW - fuck that.
I want all those ' working Americans, White Americans' to take good, hard look and see who wants to make you all serfs of the corporations. Every last one of them mofos has an ' R' behind their names.
We have a Mainstream Media that is too pathetic, and probably doesn't even know anyone whose family has made a living. Whose family got out of poverty and into the middle class because of those union jobs. This is what I mean about having ideological diversity on the Obama economic team. Give me a couple of folks who have FAMILY that actually WORKS in this country, over 5 more Chicago PhDs.
Rachel Maddow says it nicer: