Pelosi, Reid Stall on Auto Bailout

Posted: Nov 20, 2008 2:23 PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi say Detroit automakers should propose their own bailout package. Other senators would like to pass give the Big Three a $25 billion in assistance.

Democratic leadership refuses to consider bankruptcy as an option for the Big Three automakers and doesn't appear to have any solutions to save Detroit, either.

"We are kicking the can down the road because that gives us the chance to do something positive," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) told reporters in a Capitol Hill press conference Thursday afternoon.

Democrats say bankruptcy has been ruled out although Washington could do little to rescue General Motors, Ford and Chrysler from that outcome if their companies ran out of money before federal funds could be allocated to them.

“We reject those who are advocating bankruptcy for the industry, we reject that,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

Aside from that, Democrats have made no other decisions. Instead, Democrats are putting pressure on auto executives to find their own solution.

“We want them to come up with a proposal we can get through here on December 8th,” Reid said. “We don’t know how much money they need and that’s one of the things they need to come up with.”

“Until they show us a plan, we cannot show them the money,” Pelosi said.

A bipartisan group of senators would like to spend $25 billion on a federal "bridge loan" program for Detroit.

"The decision has been made by the leaders to bring us back on December 8th after there have been some hearings on the plan," said Michigan Sen. Carl Levin (D.-Mich.), one of the architects of the proposal.

The other senators pushing the $25 billion loan program are Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sen. George Voinovich (R.-Ohio) and Sen. Kit Bond (R.-Mo.).

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