Shelby, Wicker Oppose Automaker Bailout

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Alabama's top Republican senator says he will fight a Democratic plan to bail out U.S. automakers. The opposition by Sen. Richard Shelby and other GOP lawmakers raises doubts about whether the plan will pass in this week's post-election session.

Shelby is the ranking GOP member on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. He says it would be a mistake to use any of the $700 billion in the Wall Street rescue to help the automakers survive the current crisis.

He calls the American auto industry a "dinosaur" and says a federal bailout would only postpone its demise.

Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker also opposes the automaker bailout.

“I opposed the $700 billion Wall Street bailout seven weeks ago, in part, because I didn’t think it did anything to get to the root of the problem," said Wicker. "Now, Senate Democrats want to tap into those funds to provide $25 billion to struggling U.S. automakers, while ignoring the companies’ competitiveness issues that have continually plagued them."

Wicker says the 'big three' automakers were in financial trouble before the economy slowed down.

Democratic leaders want to use $25 billion to help General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. But Democrats have only a narrow majority in the Senate. Also, President George W. Bush also opposes the idea.


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