Who else can I bail out?
Sun Sep 28, 1:38 PM
DETROIT, Michigan (AFP) - The US Senate Saturday approved 25 billion dollars in loan guarantees for the financially strapped US auto industry, intended to spark a wave of automotive innovation.
The loan guarantees were included in a continuing resolution that included funding for the US government and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
President George W. Bush has indicated that he intends to sign the bill.
"We're very pleased Congress has chosen to act at this critical time," said Greg Martin, director of communications for General Motors Corp's Washington office.
GM had been subject of much speculation that it could be forced into bankruptcy.
The bill, which was approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, are the first loan guarantees for US carmakers since Congress approved a similar 675 million dollar measure for Chrysler Corp. in 1980.
Chrysler Chairman Robert Nardelli, however, said this week the loan guarantees should not be considered a rescue package for struggling carmakers. "This is not a bailout," he said.
Under provisions of the new legislation, not only US carmakers are eligible for the guarantees but also suppliers and foreign automakers with plants in the United States that are more than 20 years old -- Nissan and Honda's US operations qualify.
Martin said automakers could use the money for projects such as a new engine plant GM has announced it intends to build in Flint, Michigan.
GM Chairman Rick Wagoner spoke of plans to invest 370 million dollars in a new plant, which will be the exclusive site for production of the gasoline engine or "range extender" for the electric Chevrolet Volt, due out in November 2010.
[hat tip shm]
Speaking of bailouts, this little AP item may have been eclipsed by recent financial news:
House clears huge defense bill, sends it to Senate
By LAURIE KELLMAN – September 24, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bowing to President Bush's demands, the House passed a mammoth package for the Pentagon on Wednesday that contains a pay raise for troops, billions of dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and some political protection for lawmakers during a tense election season.
The 392-39 vote sent the $612 billion defense authorization bill to the Senate, which was expected to clear it this week.
To earn President Bush's signature rather than a veto, House and Senate negotiators dropped several provisions he opposed. They include a ban on private interrogators in U.S. military detention facilities and what would have amounted to congressional veto power over a security pact with Iraq.
Why any congressman at this point is "bowing to Bush's demands" is a mystery. It's frightening that the US's empire costs in a year equal the amount of a supposed one-time financier bailout. Expect worse under McCain and no change under Obama, who told maniac Bill O'Reilly that he "absolutely" believes there is a war against a noun ("terror").