Gridlock for the Auto Bailout; Trouble for 'Candidate 5'
By Ben Pershing
On top of all the ills currently plaguing Detroit and the auto industry, you can add bad political timing, as the bailout is percolating through the system just as congressional Republicans a) feel that they owe President Bush nothing, and b) desperately want to distinguish themselves from the ruling Democrats.
The result is c) gridlock, as the bailout package cleared the House comfortably last night but faces a much rockier road in the Senate. Maybe this is just standard practice, as Congress often appears hopelessly stuck right before a breakthough allows them to go home for the holidays. But the auto bailout does seem to be different, as Republicans are still smarting from the housing rescue bill, which turned out not really to be about housing and which many in the GOP suspect helped lead to their disastrous showing on Election Day.
So the votes for passage may not be there in the Senate. Mitch McConnell, who often "leads" by being noncommittal on major issues, is again playing coy, and Democrats barely have a majority in the chamber as the current math stands.
December 11, 2008; 10:20 AM ET
Categories: The Rundown
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