November 20th, 2008
03:36 PM ET
10 years ago

Dems to Big Three: Show us a plan


Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill said Thursday the auto industry has to come up with a plan before Congress will authorize a bailout. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The auto industry has until December 2 to fashion a plan that will provide a path to "accountability and viability," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday.

Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference that the Big Three automakers - Ford, General Motors and Chrysler - had failed to convince Congress that they had developed a viable plan for the $25 million they are requesting in bailout funds.

"This is an important industry in our country and we intend to save it," Pelosi said. "Until they show us a plan we cannot show them the money."

Reid said Congress would return the week of December 8 to consider the proposal, but only if lawmakers are convinced that the public would be well-served.

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Filed under: Congress
soundoff (197 Responses)
  1. Karmadave

    The American Auto Industry as we know it is dead! The only question is will a new, leaner, more efficient one emerge or will it disappear altogether? The current business model is clearly not sustainable in a Global Economy regardless of the current financial crisis. This crisis has simply hastened the inevitable.

    The solution is NOT to prop up these inefficient behemoths, but to re-organize the industry around a few fuel-efficient brands produced in the US at much lower cost and better quality. This is one of the key challenges facing the Obama Administration and they haven't even been sworn into office...

    November 20, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Barbara in NC

    No one loans me money without me showing what it's for and how I can pay it back.

    Same treatment for the folks making multi-millions a year. Begging, -- shame, shame, shame

    November 20, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Matt

    It's simple. The big 3 have been making a product that is bad for America and their bank account shows this. If we don't bail them out they will go under and not make these gas guzzling eco unfriendly need to buy oil from countrys that hate us 20th century style cars anymore right?

    Ask yourself where is the downside? Thousand of people out of work. Depressed economy blah blah blah.

    So then we need to bail them out or people go hungry. Then we make it part of the deal that they can no longer make a car that runs on gas anymore ever. The cars they make are not selling anyway. They sit around in port cities waiting for someone to buy what no one wants anymore. If their employees are currently getting paid to make cars no one wants. Then if they want our money to help them then make this a condition of the loan.

    I think every American can live with what they have or with whats sitting in a lot for next 5 years while we retool the american auto industry so that it only makes cars we want to buy that run on something other than gas.

    It's a Win Win situation. To give them money to make the same lousy cars they put out now would be insanity.

    November 20, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. N. S. Huntsville, Al

    Look I think they should be saved but those cars are worth a crap and plus they shipped jobs overseas to get cheap labor and they came out with BS cars. The problem is USA has to pick up the pace with new creative ideas, foreign cars look nicer, run better and they last a lot longer. But they gave money to AIG and they let them get there nails and toes done so why so hard on the automobile industry?

    November 20, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Tony From Michigan

    Just as soon as AIG and Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and the rest of the white collar companies belly up to the bar and give up part of their pensions and benefits and bonuses and planes I will be happy to do the same

    November 20, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. RaeNanda Pointer

    It was the Republicans who didn't want the bailout of the auto companies until they fixed their business plans. Now the Dems are claiming this was their idea? The dishonesty by liberals continues....

    November 20, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Molly

    Don't do it! The Japanese auto makers with factories in this country are doing great! Clearly there is a reason the americans are failing and they should not be rewarded.

    November 20, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  8. New Yorker

    Ha, what a joke! The dems have been in control of congress for 2 years and they never showed us a plan. Look who's talking!!!

    November 20, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Common Sense

    It's time for America to take it lumps. The financial bailout will unfortunately end up costing more and making things worse. And now the auto industry wants their share. The big 3 are poorly run companies that have made lousy cars that help the oil companies get richer. Even when they try to make fuel efficient cars, their reputation (lousy unreliable junk cars) precedes them.

    It's time to let them go bankrupt so they can get rid of inefficient greedy management and the union contracts that would bankrupt any business. If any employees that make about $70/hr haven't saved enough money to last a year without a job, they deserve what they get.

    If the American public bails the auto industry out again, we will see very little change in the way things are run there and they will be back (in their corporate jets) the next time the economy takes a downturn.

    Honda, Toyota and the Europeans don't seem to have any problem competing.

    November 20, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Conservative James, Phoenix, AZ

    Oh, Dave from Central Illinois, you are so filled with hate.

    Get out of your parent's basement and get a life.

    The three in that photo had NOTHING to do with the financial crisis. Blame de-regulation (starting with Reagan) plus the millions of Americans who bought houses they couldn't afford and the banks that were free to give them the money.

    You are an idiot.

    November 20, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. Laura

    Too late. They should have had a plan. They just proved they are incompetent other than to rake in riches for themselves. My idea would be for them (new managment) to build and sell only energy efficient, high quality, but all to the lowest price tag for the consumer. These autos would have to be qualified and then sell them to consumers at employee pricing or less, and then let the government give the buyers an instant rebate.........up to $25billion. Get the people buying the cars so the auto guys can have money coming in to run their business and perhaps figure out a way to build autos for the 21st century and become profitable over the years.

    November 20, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Luke

    I think thats 25 billion, not 25 million.

    November 20, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Lynn in NM

    Oh, come on. Just give out the money. You really don't care what is done with it. After all, they can just give it back to the Democratic Party as a donation, right? Or possibly to a presidential candidate.

    November 20, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Meh

    Oh Dave, you're funny. This financial mess has been happening for YEARS. Hardly Obama's fault, but keep trying!

    November 20, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Lu

    The three, no five, stooges in one shot. What have you done Pelosi and Co. for the past 2 plus years you've been in control? What a bunch of hypocrites!

    November 20, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Darko

    Chuck – Clinton's economic growth war due to the bubble and the gutting of our defense. Bush spent his first 2 years in office diggin us out of that and 9/11.

    Fannie and Freddie started this fiasco. EVERYTHING stems from the mortgage crisis. It infected all areas of business. That can be laid solely at the feet of the dems. It started with Carter, doubled under Clinton and finally Frank, Dodd and the other goons. Community Reinvestment ACT (social engineering)...idiotic piece of legislation

    Now you have Frank saying that he doesn't want any Union busting going on with the big 3 when the Union itself is half the problem(at least with GM).

    November 20, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. A Woman In California For Obama

    It's too bad many will possibly lose their jobs but I say GIVE THEM NOTHING! If I lose my job will my firm be able to ask for some of that bailout money to keep me? They have got to learn fiscal responsibility. Sell their private jets, give up their bonuses and live like WE do. Then, only then will I be convinced. Otherwise, I hope congress sends them a message by saying no.

    November 20, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. sky

    Why dont we make the plan. All those people in charge, the CEO's on down need to have a major pay cut. They style in which they do business needs to change immediately. Each of the big three needs to hire a person to go and show them how to do things better. A guide. Someone to restructure how they do things. And they need to promise to produce green vehicles immediately....not in ten those plug in electric cars everyone loved that GM made and then destroyed ten years ago....they have the technology now. Make them do it if they want our money. Give them the money with stipulations and a time frame. WE should make the plan...not them.

    November 20, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Emily

    The CEO's making millions ruin the company and continue their excess and greed and the everyday line workers suffer. Something is wrong with this picture. I think anyone making over 15 million a
    year flying around in a private jet should keep their mouths shut about the autoworkers making too much. At tops, including benefits the highest paid makes $75.00. What is that compared to the greedy CEO's that can't even manage properly. Who is bringing the country
    down? Not the little guy even though they would love to hang the blame on them.

    November 20, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. Pete

    Signs of true leadership. Look to someone else for the plan. And it's pretty funny that Obama has stayed quite throughout this. Again, sings of ture leadership

    Change we can wonder where it came from!

    November 20, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  21. Pua, HI

    It is a delicate issue as was with the bank bailout. In a way, no company should receive a bailout, but then jobs are at stake. It is not easy as a lot more companies would have or will need help. Here in Hawaii, Aloha Airlines and then ATA Airlines went bancrupt about half a year ago and were not bailed out. People lost their jobs and it was a blow to our economy here in Hawaii which has still not recovered. I am a small business owner and would not receive bailout if needed.

    November 20, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  22. Pete

    Maybe Dodd can offer some new sweetheart deals and get the auto industry the same breaks he got on his home mortgage.

    Pelosi, Reid & Dodd, the new three stooges.

    November 20, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. maryna1

    I wish the candidate would discuss global poverty more. According to The Borgen Project:
    $30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
    $540 billion: Annual U.S. Defense Budget

    November 20, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  24. Takes a Thief to Catch a Thief

    Funny that of all people Congress should ask for accountability. These are the same people famous for adding "Riders" to any bill that has a chance of becoming law and adding billions in 'pork barrel' spending. Now they have the guts to ask someone the be accountable. Wow! The times they are a changing!

    November 20, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  25. Pat F

    What a sight that photo is! Pelosi, Dodd, Schumer, Reid, all struggling for the podium and masquarading as leaders! Where were they when Freddie and Fannie were robbing us blind? Oh, yeah, accepting campaign contributions – McCain too, as I am well aware.

    This crowd is going to have Obama for lunch.

    November 20, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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