Obama Votes Present on the Bailout
President-elect Barack Obama is staying out of the congressional fight over bailing out the U.S. auto industry, despite his previous statements urging help for Detroit’s struggling Big Three, a leading Senate Democrat said Wednesday.
“I can tell you flat out there will be no endorsement [by Mr. Obama] prior to January 20,” said Senate Banking Committee Chariman Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut a day after his committee heard a combined appeal for billions of dollars in taxpayer help from the heads of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co, and Chrysler LLC.
Leading Democrats want to tap the recently approved $700 billion Wall Street bailout fund for a $25 billion “bridge loan” to help the beleaguered carmakers. But Republicans and even some Democrats have expressed opposition to the idea, and say the car companies should use a $25 billion Department of Energy loan program that Congress has already approved.