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Pelosi to Detroit: Show Us Plan, We'll Show You Money

Congressional leaders slammed on the brakes -- at least for now -- to any additional aid to struggling Detroit automakers.

In a press conference just concluded, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and others told automakers that they must provide a plan to prove they are viable and accountable by the week after Thanksgiving if they are to get any money from Congress.

"Until they show us a plan," Pelosi said, "we cannot show them the money."

Reid said lawmakers were ready to return to a second lame-duck session on Dec. 2 and would be inclined to give Detroit bailout money, but only if GM, Ford and Chrysler present a convincing argument that they will be able to stay in business and restructure in a fashion favorable to Congress.

Reid then tossed the football back to the White House, saying the administration has all the authority it needs right now to give Detroit bailout aid out of the $700 billion rescue/relief program, which the administration has resisted.

Pelosi re-emphasized Congress wants to help Detroit: "This is our response to those who say, 'Let them go.' "

Reid said, "We want them to get their act together," referring to the automakers. "Yes, we're kicking the can down the road to give us an opportunity to do something positive. But only if they get their act together."

-- Frank Ahrens

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By Frank Ahrens  |  November 20, 2008; 2:37 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Detroit bailout, automakers  
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Why is congress asking for testimony from the big three honchos regarding their viability? Simply put buy them out starting with GM. A billion will buy the corp. and you can take the necessary steps to make them viable. Close plants one by one starting with the worst sellers and biggest loss vehicles. Retool these plants for electric, biodiesel, hybrids, and hydrogen powered buses and trucks. Put Brazilian biofuel experts in charge of biofuel cars, Swiss for electric (they created a solar powered car), and the current crew for hydrogen vehicles. Ask for a 10% wage reduction and 20% benefit reduction temporarily until these cars turn a profit, then reinstate some benefits and if possible wage increases. Most unions do not let members collect pensions, nor receive medical benefits until they are 65, unless they are working. When you own them you do not ask, you dictate the terms. The alternative for the UAW is complete failure of our auto industry and the end of the union. We can wean ourselves from fossil fuels in about 20 years, if we make these cars affordable to the middle class. A $50,000 electric auto that costs 2 cents a mile will pay the increased cost by fuel savings over time. The government can finance personal car purchases at low interest rates given to banks. When almost half of auto fleet is foreign produced, the failure of the big three to be competitive is quite apparent. If we can buy AIG and cover it's losses for 80 billion, why can't we buy GM (Ford and Chrysler too with a stock price drop) and retool for half that amount?

Posted by: jameschirico | November 20, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

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