December 12th, 2008
05:19 PM ET
4 years ago

Dingell blames 'some Southern senators' for auto bailout defeat

Dingell has served in Congress for more than five decades.
Dingell has served in Congress for more than five decades.

(CNN) - Michigan Rep. John Dingell blasted “some Southern Senators” Friday for the failure of the auto bailout plan.

“Last night, some Southern Senators kicked American workers in the gut,” Dingell said in a statement released by his office. “Let’s be clear about what happened in the Senate: Senators from states where the international automakers do considerable business unpatriotically blocked a bill that was supported by the White House, that passed the House with a bipartisan majority, and that had the support of 52 Senators.”

Dingell said that Republican critics of the proposal could have had “many reasons for blocking this bill and thwarting the will of a majority of Congress,” although he said they had not allowed their objections over pay and benefit provisions “to be resolved in the proper tradition.”

But, he added, “It could also be that a block of southern Senators saw an opportunity for their states to benefit from the losses of those of us in all parts of the country.

"Perhaps they wanted to crush a long time political rival – the United Auto Workers – without any concern about the considerable damage done to the nation’s economy and the millions of American workers who would be without work. That they would take any or all of these positions is troubling, but that they would do so during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression literally shocks the conscience."

Dingell and Michigan representatives of both parties sent a letter Friday to President Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke calling on them to use existing bailout funds to aid the struggling auto industry.


Filed under: Auto Bailout
soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. No incumbents 2010

    Interesting, the majority of Washingthon including the President Elect is disappointed by the defeat of the bailout, yet the majority of Americans disagree with the bailout. Change we can believe in?
    I hope real change comes in 2010, but that is up to we the people.

    December 12, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. Allen

    Gawd told 'em suthun senators tuh do it.

    December 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  3. G

    I am surprise no one is talking about this these are very good questions that should be ask to the republican senators. They want UAW workers to cut their wages yet these are the same people who said that it would be a mistake to raise taxes during a time of recession, but cutting wages is ok? Does not make sense to me also if the American auto industry does fail and over 1 million people are left without a job the GOP can just kiss their chances to the white house in this century.

    December 12, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. bk

    You forgot to mention the Dems that voted against it.

    December 12, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. George Jones

    Those southern Senators are still fighting the Civil War...let's find out how much the foreign transplants contributed these these Southern traitors campaigns

    December 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. BB

    It's only 2 more years before some more of these obstructionists can be voted out. We got Dole out of NC. Hang in there folks. It can be done.

    December 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Rachel

    I agree with the Michigan Senator. I live in Alabama and the Senators sent out a letter to the Newpapers saying that they weren't going to vote for the bill. In Alabama there are only foreign Auto Workers so they were not concerned. I think that the auto industry needs a bailout.

    December 12, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. Tyran

    Yeah the Republican senators block the auto industry like you Sen. Dingell blocked the clean coal industry! Stop all the polarization and get on a soultion. We are losing thousands of jobs a week! DO SOMETHING WASHINGTON!!!

    December 12, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. Greg Fisk

    You've got to be kidding! This guy has been sucking off the taxpayer's tittie for more than 5 DECADES, and what he says is what the SENATORS want???? Hello... the senators ARE the problem! What do the American people want? Ask an auto worker and duh, they want the bailout. But what's best for everyone else???? Ever see the movie Primary Colors? This subject is covered... and answered... in Spades. Bottom line... NO BAILOUT! Sorry, it hurts, I know. But that money should be used to retrain the autoworkers to do different jobs... ones with their brains, not their brawn. That's where the world is going. Labor goes where labor is cheap, and that ain't the USA.

    December 12, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. jason

    these are the same people who are going to be a stone in president -elect obama's shoe. these are the same southern senators who would like to raise reagan from the dead. these are the good ol boys part of the 50 million who didn't want a dem/blk man as president. thank god for the 53 million + who seen different progressive minded individuals.. cause a republican to me is nothing but a descendant of a slave master, overseer, plantation owner and a down right evil being.

    December 12, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  11. Brian Jones

    Dingell and other Michigan congress men should stop and listen to their own voice for a second. An auto bailout is only going to put off the end of Detroit Automakers for short time. With the Auto Unions and state taxes constantly hitting the bottom line of these companies they will have no option but to close. Unions may be good for those making the deal but down the road when their children need jobs workers will regret bankrupting their employers. Why do you think BMW located in South Carolina or other foreign companies in other states. They wanted to escaped the plague and ultimate death kiss of unions and welfare state mentalities in the Midwest.

    The Big Three would do best in declaring bankruptcy and with that restructuring without the American Auto Workers Union.

    Foreign companies in the US aren't having as big as problems as the Big Three. Maybe those in Power should open their eyes to this and change their laws to benefit their constituents.

    December 12, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. Larry Wise

    Tell that Yankee we didn't want to support any more bloated companies with our tax dollars! Wall street SHOULDN'T have been bailed out, and neither should Detroit. When will we let the freedom to fail return with the freedom to succeed??!!

    December 12, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Greed is not good

    It's a moot point anyways...the Democrats will get what they wanted all along which was to pull the money already set aside for wall street

    December 12, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. REG in Az

    Biased alignment v objective discernment: Can pre-committed voters make rational decisions? There is real value in the conservative philosophies of ‘the least amount of government is the best government’ and that ‘government should only do for the people that which they can’t do for themselves’ however, as we are currently experiencing most everywhere (corporate corruption, Wall Street failures, auto industry meltdown, religious extremists,,,), there is responsibility inherent in all of that which demands that there is liberal protection against the exploitation of the many by the few and for equitable and fair treatment providing real opportunity for everyone. Those who think smart, work hard and take the risk deserve to reap the rewards, however there needs to be real regulation, control and enforcement to insure that greed, dishonesty and/or self-indulgence doesn’t take over and allow the powerful few to take advantage – simply, balance is required to prevent ultra-conservatism, which promotes advantage to the few, and also to prevent extreme liberalism from creating a large ‘tax & spend’ government, which inhibits real growth. Ultra-conservatism without the checks and controls provided by reasonable liberalism is like the pyramid schemes which advocate something that can’t work and will only benefit a few while victimizing the majority. We are currently being required to reactively address the failures occurring in many areas, with more to come, that are caused by an imbalance and a failure to be objectively proactive. Continuing as is, without responsibly and objectively recognizing the need for balance, could just be condemning the whole system to a catastrophe. As Collin Powell has intelligently articulated, (paraphrased) we really need more moderate, centrist and independent thinking to insure that the cancer doesn’t continue to infect and grow.

    December 12, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  15. Mike Dallas

    Not to mention all the tax incentives and free infrastructure upgrades the transplants were given to get them to build the plants. If the U.S. taxpayer can pay for those types of incentives to lure foreign automakers to the depressed south, then they can front the 14B dollar LOAN.

    At least the domestics are asking for a loan not a gift, or to be completely fair, have the taxpayers build a couple of free factories for GM!

    December 12, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. BeefyDaddy

    More GOP theater. They are so short sighted and fearful of unions that they risk placing the entire country into another Depression. I guess they figure if everyone is out of work, there won't be any unions. Americans workers only get paid $3 more per hour than non-union guys. Plus there are unions in Japan and South Korea etc. Moreover those countries also help subisdize the healthcare costs. How unbelievably Unpatriotic the GOP is!! Remember that the profits from those foreign owned auto companies goes overseas!! Ford and GM profits stay here!! Of course, this is the same GOP that loves shipping our jobs overseas anyway, so I'm not surprised they are being anti-American again. That America-hating GOP is at it again!

    December 12, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  17. larry

    Maybe these southern senators are still bitter about the civil war and see a chance they can bring down the north with the help of their german and japanese friends.

    December 12, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  18. WAW

    The Dixie-publicans! Usens ain't wontten none em aire unionizers down here! Them ain't are kind of folks. They be uppiddy.

    December 12, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  19. Proud to be American

    This is a terrible thing the S. Repugs did..... how can they live with themselves knowing that American people will suffer much.

    December 12, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. Perusing-Through

    WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER

    Congress should put their paycheck where their mouth is. If Congress wants UAW (and only UAW) to take a pay cut for what amounts to be three decades of auto-mismanagement, than every Senator and Congressman should lead the way and take a pay cut for NOT demanding more fuel efficient cars since the first oil crisis during President Carter’s years, and for allowing the U.S. to become a hostage of oil producing nations.

    December 12, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. johnnie gregory

    I THINK IT WOULD BE VERY INTERESTING TO KNOW HOW MANY DOLLARS HAS BEEN GIVEN TO THESE UNPRATIOTIC SENATORS BY THESE JAPANESE AND GERMAN TRANSPLANTS. HAS EVERONE FORGOTTEN WW2 AND " REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR" ?

    December 12, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  22. christian vreeland, Traverse City Mi.

    2 million plus jobs, the largest industry in the United states, spanning all 50 states. for an eye opener, 159,000 jobs in california alone depend on the big three. this isn't just Michigan's problem, it's America's

    December 12, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Tom Paine

    Everytime we get a glimpse of the conversations of these politicians we find out what cold-blooded opportunistic sociopaths they are. So it does not require a gigantic leap of imagination to believe the accusations made by the Honorable John Dingle. It probably went like this: [Senator Shelby] blankety blank blank what's in it for me and blank the blankin UAW and all the blankin liberals in Detroit that went blankin democratic. Blank em. Anyway, my 'blind (ahem) trust is shorting the automakers so I win either way which is all that matters. Am I a good ole boy or what? Time to head out to lunch at the all white no women members club. God I love the south.

    December 12, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. Jason L. Hubsch

    Just look at the polls on Rasmussen Reports. No majority of Americans polled are behind this bailout in any way. Who cares what the majority of the House voted on? The Senate gets to vote their own way, independent of House results, as a means for checks and balances. How ironic that the Republicans are now the ones representing the will of the people. House Democrats should be ashamed.

    December 12, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. Mike

    Well, then thank God for Southern Senators! The UAW needs to take a close look at itslef and understand that the gross over-compensation of its members is hugely responsible for this crisis in the auto industry.

    December 12, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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