U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (R) stands next to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) as she talks about the progress of the Detroit auto makers bailout package on Capitol Hill in Washington, December 8, 2008.
Although the Detroit 3 originally claimed they needed around $34 million to stave off total bankruptcy, the $15 billion-dollar emergency loan package that Washington has finally agreed upon will only be providing half that. Fortunately, many experts (read: “anyone capable of processing abstract thought”) believe that Chrysler, GM, and Ford will only need to make the $15 billion last until January when their sugar daddy will officially be sworn into office. Until that time, $15 billion is the best it appears as thought the current administration is willing to offer, and if the Big 3’s prognosis is as grim as it’s been made out to be, Detroit will be embracing the paltry offering with open wallets.
Largely a verbal agreement, the bailout bill still needs to be officially transcribed and voted into law before Detroit can begin gluing their shattered piggy banks back together. While it is entirely possible some last minute revisions will be made, the basic tenants of the bill have already been released to the public. Most notable among the bill’s tentatively approved objectives is the requirement that all recipients of the loan report directly to a government-appointed “car czar.” Cleverly described as a “trustee”, the car czar will be given controlling stake in the borrowing company as well as the authority to recommend “bankruptcy restricting” if he feels the borrower is failing to fulfill its minimum obligations as per the terms of the loan agreement.
Although both the Democrats and Republicans were able to agree upon Uncle Sam extending an almost dictatorial authority over the domestic auto industry, the current administration is still adamantly opposed to the Democrat’s call to require all loan applicants to agree to cease any legal protest of California’s (as well as any other states’) emissions standards. According to reports, Democrats are expected to place the bill before the House for an official vote today before sending it to the Senate for final consideration. Currently, there is no word on whether or not the House majority has been successful in forcing a vote.
Source: Auto News
Image: Reuters Pictures