U.S. lawmakers deadlocked on a plan to bail out the Big Three automakers, leaving General Motors Corp. facing the prospect it could run out of cash before a new Congress can come to the rescue next year.From Bloomberg.com. Of course, Obama's inauguration (along with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress) might change the situation, but some fear that GM, at least, might not even survive that long.
Democratic congressional leaders disagreed with Republicans and President George W. Bush's administration over how to provide $25 billion in aid to GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC. Only two days remain in a lame-duck session for lawmakers to resurrect a compromise.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, suggested yesterday the situation was dire and refused to set aside time today to debate a compromise proposed by Senator Kit Bond, a Missouri Republican. Reid said Bond's plan hasn't been put in writing and the House of Representatives is about to adjourn.
``We have to face reality,'' he said. ``The reality is that we tried a number of different approaches.''
Bond and fellow Republican George Voinovich of Ohio insisted they weren't giving up on their proposal to speed up and broaden access to $25 billion already approved for fuel- efficient vehicle development that was a compromise.
``We've made great progress,'' Bond said. ``We are down to the point now where wording challenges are about the only remaining things to deal with.''
This illustrates just what Obama is up against. After his honeymoon period ends, he's going to be facing mounting criticism as the US economy sinks further. Unless he is able to work miracles, he could find himself vulnerable in the 2012 election. A Nehemiah Scudder type (like, say, Mike Huckabee) could be a real threat; these people, for instance, would undoubtedly be enthusiastic backers of the likes of Huckabee.