Dodd: GOP Tried To Create 'Train Wreck'
House Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) just wrapped up a press conference giving his views on the Senate's blockage of the $14 billion emergency bridge loans to Detroit's Big Three automakers and laid blame for the failure on Senate Republicans asking unfair terms from the autoworkers's union.
Dodd said that the Republican caucus were insistent on a date when United Auto Workers employees would accept comparable and compatible compensation to that paid by foreign automakers that employ Americans. Typically, companies such as Toyota and Honda pay their workers less than GM, Ford and Chrysler pay their workers, per contracts negotiated by the UAW.
"It's impossible to talk about date-certain [pay proposals] particularly in an economy as volatile as this," Dodd said. "An abbreviated time frame [to accept such wages] would almost certainly guarantee a bankruptcy outcome."
The Senate "would have been constructing a train wreck by adopting this proposal," Dodd said.
Moments ago in an interview on CNBC, Dodd's main nemesis on this issue -- Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who has consistently opposed a bailout for Detroit -- said the Big Three "are waiting to get on the dole big-time."
Shelby and some other Republicans say the $14 billion is merely a "blood transfusion" and will not make the Big Three more efficient or more competitive with foreign automakers.
Shelby called on Bush to block Treasury aid to the Big Three but doubted that the president would. "He just wants to get out of town," Shelby said.
Dodd depicted a negotiation scene last night between lawmakers, automakers and union officials that he never imagined he would see.
"It wasn't just wages and benefits; it was work rules," Dodd said. "We were negotiating an industrial agreement. Congress has the capacity to do this but I never envisioned us trying to negotiate those over a few hours in the Senate foreign relations room."
Neither did anyone else, senator.
December 12, 2008; 4:35 PM ET
Categories: The Ticker | Tags: Christopher Dodd, Chrysler, Ford, GM, automakers
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