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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.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 12, 2008; 4:35 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Christopher Dodd, Chrysler, Ford, GM, automakers  
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Comments

Shelby (R-Mercedes Benz) and McConnell (R-Toyota) represented their foreign automakers well in the negotiations. Too bad they don't represent what is in America's best interest. Isn't it about time to investigate Shelby's financial, above and below the table, relationship to Mercedes Benz (and the billions Benz received and still receives from American and Alabama taxpayers)?

Posted by: eisbergbier1 | December 12, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"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."

Uhhhhmmmmmm sorry Dodd, but you and Congress are not qualified to work out industrial work agreements. Why do you even believe that you are?

The fact that Republicans were even pushing changes to work rules is disgusting and transparent attempts to smash the Union. Thank god they didn't back down.

Posted by: theobserver4 | December 12, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Once again dumbya and the d-crats are blindly forging ahead on another BAD bailout - this time the auto firms.

Once again, as with the terrible $700 Billion bailout to Paulson's Wall Street pals that has failed totally, the only sanity is coming from the Republicans, who realize this bailout is also a waste of taxpayer money and just continues the socialist distortion of the US economy where the government is running everything and no company ever fails thanks to billions and billions and billions of taxpayer money. No wonder the stock markets are rallying - businesses CAN'T LOSE.

The best alternative to the deeply-flawed d-crat bailout is Sen. Bob Corker's plan for giving the holders of bonds issued by the auto companies 30 cents on the dollar to ease the companies’ debt burden; immediately bringing workers’ wages in line with foreign companies like Nissan and Volkswagen; and forcing the United Automobile Workers to eliminate payments to workers after their jobs have been eliminated. That will "bailout" the auto companies from some of their gross mismanagement, while eliminating the waste of billions in taxpayer money.

Once again the d-crats will try to grease their bad bill with additional billions in pork waste. And guess who will pay for all this expenditure?

Enough is enough. CITIZENS MUST STOP THE LUNACY OF THE D-CRATS!

Posted by: ImpeachNOW | December 12, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

8 Democrat senators voted against the measure. With 10 Republicans voting for it, the dems had the votes except for dissention in their own party. The UAW head is betting the president won't let them fail, and Obama owes them for his election. This is a done deal, but it's for the UAW, not the automakers.

Posted by: hdc77494 | December 12, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

the dems have destroyed the insurance giants, the mortagage giants, the brokerage giants and the bank giants...
next they will destroy our country...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 12, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Dodd is a liar. The unions are one of the biggest reasons the Big 3 are facing bankruptcy. Them and their protectors like Dodd.

First dems said give mortgages to poor people and we got the housing bubble. Now dems are saying give money to unions so they can bankrupt more companies.

Enough with these stupid retards!

Posted by: painintheass97 | December 12, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

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