Bailout Watch 67: House of Reps Votes Aye
Automotive News [AN, sub] reports that the U.S. House of Representatives have passed a bill which includes authorization for $25b in federal low-interest loans for Detroit. The legislation, originally designed to help Detroit automakers retool 20-year-old-plus factories to build automobiles that are 25 percent more fuel efficient than similar models, cleared the Reps by a margin of 370 to 58. The Senate will rubber stamp the bill– whose main purpose is to keep government running in the new fiscal year that begins Octover first– by the weekend. President Bush is expected to sign it next week. And before that’s done, Detroit’s minions will do everything in their power to get their hands on the cash and subvert Congress’ original intent for the bailout billions. As AN puts it, “The final version of the bill is expected to include language that would speed the issuance of the loans and the adoption of rules by the Department of Energy that would govern their use, said John Bozzella, Chrysler LLC’s vice president of global external affairs and public policy.” Meanwhile Rep. John Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, was over the friggin’ moon. “Some critics will call this loan package a bailout,” the Michigan democrats statement admitted. “It is not. These loans amount to a little more than 1 percent of the real bailout — the one that the Bush administration wants for Wall Street at a cost of $700 billion to taxpayers.” So it’s not a bailout that’s less than the other bailout. Makes sense to me.