Senate to Press Auto Bailout Starting Mondayby Tim Manni
Despite Republican resistance, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will begin debating the $25 billion rescue package for the Big Three on Monday:
Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said on Friday that he “plans to press forward” with emergency aid to automakers and a plan to extend unemployment insurance, even though Republican backing is not assured.
Reid plans to begin debate on Monday and hopes the Senate will conduct procedural votes early in the week.
It will be difficult for Democrats to push through an auto bailout if minority Republicans object and throw up procedural roadblocks.
The House would take up a bailout bill if it first clears the Senate. Congress is only expected to meet for a matter of days during its post-election session and will not reconvene until early January.
Lawmakers will have to weigh the consequences here. Everyone seems to be aware of the economic devastation that could occur if the Big Three cease to exist. Yet, without a sense of what U.S. automakers plan to do with their government funds, many lawmakers agree that it could very well be money down the drain. Our guess is that the automakers will get their money, but without substantial changes to the way they operate, the money may not last very long.