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Sen. Ensign Blames Union For Autos Bailout Collapse

Moments ago, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), one of the Senate Republicans who killed the $14 billion package of emergency direct loans to struggling Detroit Big Three automakers, blamed the United Auto Workers for the bill's death.

"The UAW walked away from a very reasonable deal because they knew the White House was going to use TARP funds," Ensign said on CNBC, referring to the $700 billion rescue/bailout package.

The White House said this morning that it is considering using bailout funds to help the automakers.

"The UAW walked away from the table and then the Democrats walked away from the table," Ensign said.

If the Democrats and the UAW have so far achieved one gain in this mess, it's this: They've forced Republicans to turn on themselves. The White House had backed the $14 billion loan package passed by the House earlier this week, but Senate Republicans bucked President Bush.

"If the Bush administration would stand strong, it would force the UAW back to the table," Ensign said. "It's not too late for the Bush administration to stand tall and show some courage."

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 12, 2008; 1:21 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Chrysler, Ford, GM, UAW, automakers  
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Comments

I've got very mixed feelings on this now. On one hand, I would like them to go into bankruptcy so that all parties involved see what a FUBAR situation their egos have created. On the other hand, bankruptcy is bad for main street, so that lesson to the people that make the decisions would be very costly for Joe Public. So torn.

Posted by: AlphaAnt | December 12, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Ensign is an idiot---Lets go back to the beginning--Congress has cause this economic mess and they alway want to blame someone else

Posted by: syoung29 | December 12, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

The GOP wasn't asking for concessions from the UAW -- it was essentially demanding that the UAW cease to exist.

Labor costs only account for about 12 percent of the cost of a vehicle -- yet the Big Three still sell cars for less than other auto manufacturers.

The GOP also backed off concessions from other stake-holders including executives and bond-holders -- e.g. the big money players who prop up GOP campaigns.

The failure of the GOP to pass this measure is wrong-headed on so many levels.

Since when did 60 votes become the standard for passing measures in the Senate?

There were more than 51 votes to sign this one into law -- the president and the House had worked out a deal.

More GOP insanity. Heads in the Senate GOP caucus need to roll.

Posted by: JPRS | December 12, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"The White House had backed the $14 billion loan package passed by the House earlier this week, but Senate Republicans bucked President Bush."

about time they bucked that monkey. where were all these fiscal conservatives when the TARP was passed?!

Posted by: millionea7 | December 12, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Ronnie Reagan was kind of strange. I believe at one time he was the President of the Screen Actor's Guild and then he busted the Air Controller's Union over a collective bargaining dispute action.

Ensign and Vitter have now both blamed the UAW for the Senate's failure yesterday. No wonder Menedez is leaving politics. This is cool, "Unions are the runiation of this Country" in the 21st century huh ? I guess that is why we need pourus borders too so that cheap labor can continue flooding our country ? Senator Sessions threw the baby out with the bath water on Comprehensive Immigration reform. Am really surprised Cornyn and Kyl did not do that one with a poison pen amendment. Keep up the good work fellas.

Specter had a good point last night. There was very little or no debate from the Floor of the United States Senate on this deal. Most of this garbage was done behind "closed doors", the public effectively locked out ? Problem is that collective bargaining is between management and Labor not Congress and Labor. I think it was a futile exercise in Union busting which would have benefitted "Right to work" states the most just like pourous borders in a time of two wars and the ever present threat of domestic terrorism ? I hope and pray a dirty suitcase bomb does not go off in a Southern state, I surely do.

Speaking of which how many drills have been performed to date simulating a coastal city terrorism attack ? Talk about your oversight huh ?

Posted by: truthhurts | December 12, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

It's a good thing the car biz has hourly workers who can take the fall and get their pay and benefits retroactively reduced. Imagine if it was like the financial racket and only gazillionaire executives knocked around who couldn't be touched?

Posted by: HardyW | December 12, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Washubgton is in a bigger mess then Michigan and the three Auto company and they are not resigning. This where the entire house needs to bve cleaned out. there should be acrossed the aisle pay redudtion right as of now. We are getting less quality out of Wshington then Detroit and nothig is getting better there. So stop blaming the Union for what is wrong with this country. Geroge Bush should have been recalled after his first six months in office. What about the millions of dollars paid to the vice President former company for work not preformed in Iraq even through the evident were there of work not proformed. Congress and the Senate voted to pay anyway. This is a case of no standard and then a double standard with hard working people. These so call southern (That rebel flag should have came done years ago)senates that is bailing out these sweat shops auto maker with their great tax breaks on the back of the citizen still see this as two countries. Let them exist on the same type of benefits they are wishing on the working public and then come back to vote on a bail out plan.

Posted by: floridaihamp | December 12, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

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