The Corner

Standing Athwart a Bailout

We have an editorial today on the auto bailout, which offers some support for those in the Senate pushing against it.

This morning, Mitch McConnell says in a press statement:

“Republicans were told last night that an agreement had been reached between Congressional Democrats and the White House on an auto package.

“As of this morning, we still haven’t seen the final version of this bill. Once we do, we’ll review it to see if it meets our standard for support — the taxpayers’ standard for support.

“But let me be clear: there will be no vote on this legislation today. On a bill this critical, with so much taxpayer money at stake, we cannot rush this through without adequate review.

“My members will be discussing the merits of this latest version of the plan at our weekly policy lunch this afternoon.

“So this afternoon I expect to have some more substantive thoughts on this latest proposal’s chances for support within my conference.

“We will address this issue before the end of the week.

“For those who need a refresher, let me remind everyone of the Republican criteria for this legislation: first and foremost, we will not let taxpayers spend their hard-earned money on ailing carmakers unless these companies are forced to reform their bad habits — either inside or outside of bankruptcy.

“This means that workers won’t be paid not to work. This means a final bill would not interfere with pending environmental lawsuits in a one-sided manner. And it means that struggling car companies will have to rationalize their cost structures — because a company that does not respond to market conditions is a company that is doomed to failure anyway. And Republicans will not allow taxpayers to subsidize failure.

“As I’ve said repeatedly, my Republican colleagues and I want to put struggling carmakers on a path to long-term success. But we cannot support a plan that doesn’t.”

David Vitter is on the Senate floor right now:  “I cannot support this general bailout plan.” Echoing our editorial today, the Louisiana senator exoriates the bill as solidifying failure and says “I will use ever procedural tool available … to delay and block the measure as it presently stands.”

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