Top Republican senators said Sunday they will oppose a Democratic plan to bail out Detroit automakers, calling the U.S. industry a “dinosaur” whose “day of reckoning” is coming. Their opposition raises serious doubts about whether the plan will pass in this week’s postelection session.
Democratic leaders want to use $25 billion of the $700 billion financial industry bailout to help Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC..,
By Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer
Sens. Richard Shelby of Alabama and Jon Kyl of Arizona said it would be a mistake to use any of the Wall Street rescue money to prop up the automakers. They said an auto bailout would only postpone the industry’s demise.
“Companies fail every day and others take their place. I think this is a road we should not go down,” said Shelby, the senior Republican on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
General Motors headquarters is seen October 26, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan. Picture taken October 26, 2008.(Rebecca Cook/Reuters)
“They’re not building the right products,” he said. “They’ve got good workers but I don’t believe they’ve got good management. They don’t innovate. They’re a dinosaur in a sense.”
Added Kyl, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican: “Just giving them $25 billion doesn’t change anything. It just puts off for six months or so the day of reckoning.”
, D-Calif., said over the weekend that the House would provide aid to the ailing industry, though she did not put a price on her plan.
“The House is ready to do it,” said Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. “There’s no downside to trying.”
Above: Ready to bail, from L to R: Rep. Barney Frank, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd. Photo by Joseph Silverman