December 5th, 2008
03:34 PM ET
5 years ago

President-elect's team weighing auto industry option

Obama and his advisers are studying options to help the struggling automotive industry.
Obama and his advisers are studying options to help the struggling automotive industry.

(CNN) – President-elect Barack Obama has kept a relatively low profile as automakers plead for billions from Congress, but behind the scenes, the incoming administration is working hard on finding ways to ease the crisis.

Obama and his advisers are studying options for helping the automobile industry beyond what Congress does or doesn't do before he steps into office.

Talks in Congress have included mention of a possible short-term loan for the auto giants to act as a Band-Aid until lawmakers can hammer out a long-term plan when the new Congress begins next year. Other lawmakers have suggested that bankruptcy could be a good thing for the automakers.

CEOs for the Big Three are trying to make their case for a $34 billion loan.

Despite what may happen in the coming weeks, there's no indication that the problem will be solved before Obama steps into office. While the president-elect has largely stayed silent on the issue, he has signaled that one option is off the table.

"We can't allow the auto industry simply to vanish," he said last week.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Congress • Nancy Pelosi
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Godluvr

    I feel more confident about them getting 34B than those bankers (Wallstreet) getting money that no one can account for. At least this is more tangible.

    December 5, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Gaylon Barrow

    I wouldn't weigh it too long it might get too heavy. They need bailing out. BUT YOU MUST DO SOMETHING TO THESE INSURANCE COMPANIES. THOUGH I KNOW YOU WON'T BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE ALL YOU MONEY MEN VEST YOUR MONEY, RIGHT? That's the reason they don't pay off like they're supposed to do and then in turn raise their premiums so high you can't afford the car payments. You talk about having their cake and eating the plate also. These two companies take it all. At the same time people are losing their homes and retired people checks cost of living raises are a joke. The U.S. GOVERNMENT IS THE WROST OF THE LOT IN KEEPING UP WITH LIVING EXPENSES.

    December 5, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Monica

    He's so good looking.

    December 5, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. BO is just B.O.

    Perfect picture. You can see both his faces!!!!

    December 5, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Americans do not want a Bailout

    Polls show over 60% of Americans say no. So why is Obama looking for a way to say yes?????

    December 5, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. Bruce

    let them go under…if they are as strapped as they say they are then this will be a drop in the bucket…how about merge all three into one…
    or better yet give us , the taxpayers a one time check and let us stimulate the economy. We would pay bills, save, invest, and buy cars, and from that letting the market work it owuld become apparent that the Big 3 do not ahve the vehicels that we want,,,,,or need…they got themselves into this ..let them get out themselves.

    December 5, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Alabama Voter

    We have to do something now. 6 million people could lose their jobs. I can't believe people let the Gov. deal out 7 billion to the banks who have given nothing back to the economy but they want to gripe about giving the lifeblood that our economy was built on a loan. Congress needs to consider their own pensions and insurance that we the people pay for before going after the Union workers pensions and insurance. Who is going to pay for Congresses pensions when all of us are without a job. They need to get rid of the CEO's of these companies and leave the people that actually pay taxes under Bush's Plan alone or the U.S. is going to be in real trouble.

    December 5, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Erik from Real Pennsylvania

    Dear Republican Party:
    Oh, please please PLEASE run this pair as the 2012 ticket.
    Warmest Reagrds,
    The Democrats

    December 5, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. mb

    Where is President Bush? Someone needs to talk to him. He should do one good thing before he leaves office.

    December 5, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Ted:Canada

    Catch 22

    Obama do it on the basis of the "worker".

    If it fails at least someone tried to help the workers.

    Sorry to say.
    All three are not likely to succeed. They are in competition with each other...
    Somebody will come crashing down in less than 12 months. Hopefully not all three of them.

    December 5, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Annette

    Think and access first, act second. Way to go Obama!

    December 5, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Matt

    Natural selection has its place. The Big 3 failed to adapt, faught against it tooth and nail even, so they must die.

    December 5, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. Bill Henderson

    i don't know how much the auto bail out will cost each tax payer, but perhaps the goverment needs to figure this out and give each tax payer a check for this amount that can only be cashed at a big three auto store, only on the purchase of a car or truck.

    December 5, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. JP

    Barack, chaper 11 is the best way to protect the taxpayers. A bail out is the best way to protect the UAW. Hope you will do the right thing and act like the typical democratic puppet and do the unions bidding.

    December 5, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. lonnette33

    Yeah right. I believe it when I see it.

    December 5, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Clinton Basher

    More like "Bailouts we can believe in"
    Where does it end?
    Hillary would have solved this problem a month ago if she were President elect. Too bad Obama stole the election from her. I hope you Obama voters are happy.

    December 5, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. Mike, Syracuse NY

    In nature the weak are allowed to fail for the general health of the herd. If we prop them up now, it will just be worse the next time. They need to file Chapter 11, reorganize, dump the onerous union contracts and come out stronger, ready to compete. The future of the US auto industry is the Honda and Toyota model, not the Detroit model.

    December 5, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Frank

    The auto industry Must be saved, period! Any company, any, who had a 33% down turn in business can not survive. The turn down in business was because of their products, people who want to buy cars simply can't auto loans. The banks who caused our economic problems get money without any problem, yet the companies that the banks caused to go under get no money. What's wrong with this picture? Unlike the banks who got a true bailout, the auto companies are asking for a LOAN. Isn't time that Congress helped blue collar America as much as they help white collar America? So wake up, the loss of jobs will be much higher than the 3 million people involved in the auto industry. When 3 million people can no longer purchase goods, it affect drugstores, bakeries, hardware stores, grocery stores, gift shops, etc. etc. The list is endless, so the true loss of jobs will be closer to 10 million! America can not afford to let the Big 3 fail!!

    December 5, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  19. TJ Johnson

    Oh goody! As if His Supreme Being's team knows anything about any of this..... Will make matters worse. People, we are heading for depression because of all the egotistical wise people.

    December 5, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. pam Eugene OR

    I don't think they should vanish BUT they need to start over. They can only do that if we allow them to go bankrupt!
    Any money for them at this point is a fools errand. They will be back in six months with their hands out again.

    December 5, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Cori from Colorado

    I watched the live coverage today of the plea for the Big 3, and boy oh boy, the next couple of days will be interesting. They claim they will go under if they don't receive emergency funds now, definitely before the year is out. They don't deserve it, because after all these years, they suddenly want to change their failing ways. Not a good proactive response to America and her people, and how they want our money to bail them out, only asking for $38 billion. All I can say is that I would hate to be stepping into the white house with a huge mess on my hands...Obama has a long chaotic road ahead of him.

    December 5, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. proudliberal

    capitalism sucks when its infected with greed.

    December 5, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Robin

    We can sit back and do nothing...After all, what's another 2 million people unemployed. Obama is in office and everything will be wonderful while we stand in line at the soup kitchen.

    December 5, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. wordgirl66

    The auto workers are like the rest of us, trying to take care of home and their families. They do not deserve to suffer because the CEO's and Union became greedy and botched the job. If it were any other
    job and the employee had botched it to this extent, THEY would be fired. Help the auto industry and get rid of the EXECs that are just getting rich and not looking back or caring about the people they are hurting . Make them give up their jobs..there are a billion MBA's in America looking for a chance to do a good job someplace.

    December 5, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. Michael

    Chapter 11 is not the answer. How can offloading debt owed to suppliers help the auto industry? The suppliers are not owned by the big 3 and support all of the auto industry in the US. Why should pensions and heath care be disregarded for the retired workers? Strict oversight is the only way to help the industry as a whole. The UAW and the Big3 are willing to work with Congress on a viable plan. Did we easily forget that the last loan to Chrysler was repaid early and we made over 300 million in returns?

    December 5, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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