As GOP Stiffens, Auto Bailout Prospects Hit the Skids

McConnell, GOP move further away from supporting Detroit aid
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2008 3:59 PM CST
Employees leave the Chrysler Truck Assembly plant in Warren, Mich., Dec. 11, 2008. Prospects for a $14 billion auto industry bailout dimmed despite appeals by Barack Obama and President Bush.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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(Newser) – As Republican resistance to the $14 billion auto-industry bailout mounted, proponents flogged today's dismal unemployment figures to bolster their case, Politico reports. Mitch McConnell abandoned the White House, which continued to push the bill; the Senate minority leader unexpectedly said the measure "promises taxpayer money today for reforms that may or may not come tomorrow," The Hill reports. It's unclear when the Senate will vote on the legislation, which cleared the House yesterday.

McConnell's opposition has the potential to derail the legislation, but he appeared to be maneuvering on behalf of an amendment proposed by Bob Corker. The Tennessee Republican is spearheading an effort to toughen the legislation by including specific requirements for reduced debt and operating costs as well as far-reaching wage and benefit adjustments affecting both employees and retirees.