December 12th, 2008
05:19 PM ET
7 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. Mike264

    So people down South make just $8.00 an hour and that's the UAW's fault? According to most red states receive more money from the federal government than they send. Alabama gets 1.66 for every dollar it sends. Not bad huh Northern workers? I guess having a union job would affords us welfare for the South? Right? We subsidize the less wealthy states for years and this is the thanks we get? Well, this Yankee knows why he's not Republican any more.

    December 12, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  2. Golfer

    Good call by Dingell!
    It appears that a handful of Dead White Males from Wal-mart states is attempting to sabotage the American economy before President Obama can take office.
    Don't they get the message from the electoral beatdowns in 2006 and 2008? Or do they just want to drag the rest of the country down to their sub-standard of living?
    I hope somebody is taking names and making a list. We'll see what happens the next time these Maynards and Bufords want their tobacco price supports.

    December 12, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  3. Ted

    Make a car that doesn't break down constantly and I'll buy it. Honestly, I have little sympathy for the unions here. They're paying out more than people with masters degrees make. Why reward failure?

    December 12, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  4. Jaime

    Japanese and German companies based in old South... 3 defeated states...

    December 12, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. nobail in alabama

    sorry nola, but no one bailed us out when the company my husband worked at for 23 years closed. if the unions hadn't jacked wages so high, car price might have been more reasonable and I might have bought a new car and then there wouldn't be this mess.

    get over the pity party already and live within your means.

    December 12, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  6. Legion in Ohio

    Dear irratated In Florida....well while you are only making $8.00 an hour ..find out what your Senator and Congressmen are making in your area at YOUR expense...I am sure they are making more than you...You should have graduated from High School you would be making more than $8.00 an hour by now

    December 12, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  7. American Patriot

    It's no surprise that the southern red states have the highest rates of child malnutrition and overall poverty in the nation. And it's no secret that they also have the highest illiteracy rates in the country. If they want to remain backwards and ignorant states, let them. If they're stupid enough to embrace feudalism, let them. But they should secede from the Union for the good of our country, and this time we should let them.

    December 12, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  8. jebb

    no one really wants a bailout.

    but anyone who has a modicum of business sense knows what a tidal wave this bankruptcy would cause. you think you're safe living in california, arkansas, tennessee, etc? think again!

    bankruptcy of the big 3=suppliers going under=dealers going under=factories going under=local communities going under=advertising agencies going under=media planning/buying companies going under=production houses going under,banks that have extended credit to all these business going under=those people losing their jobs, etc etc etc.

    those of you who are against this loan (not bailout), you have NO idea how this is going to affect you. think of this moment of reading this as your warning. you may not like the government helping, but it's going to save your future. this is not a political statement – it's reality.

    don't say you weren't warned.

    December 12, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  9. JB

    Happened to NY.

    December 12, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  10. baski

    It is unconscionable on the part of senators to have defeated the bailout. GM and Ford are among the few companies that have a well funded pension plan. They have been among the biggest employers in the US. As one famous person said "When the tree falls, the earth shakes". It is not an ordinary tree that will fall, but a banyan tree with all its vines shaking the entire nation. In short, it will be earth shattering.

    December 12, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. Diane

    Let me educate the rest of you on what it is like to live in a state where "foreign" auto manufacturing plants are located. First of all the state of Tennessee gave millions, if not billions, in tax breaks to get Nissan to locate a manufacturing plant here. I don't recall Tennessee giving GM any tax breaks to locate the Saturn plant in Tennessee. There is no state income/payroll tax inTennessee so poor people like myself have to pay the same tax rate that the rich people pay – 9.25% sales tax on every purchase including groceries and I have no idea how much in hotel/motel/entertainment taxes, excise taxes and tobacco taxes because I can't afford to set foot in the stadium where the Titans play or the arena where the Predators play! But I know some of the sales taxes I paid helped to build those facilities. Now Tennessee has an $800 million budget shortfall. Most Tennesseeans are either uneducated blue-collar rednecks or educated rich rednecks so that is why Tennessee sent an idiot like Bob Corker to the Senate. Never mind that he was employing illegal immigrants at his construction sites. Corker and Shelby from Alabama – home of the Mercedes plant near Birmingham – are trying to steal a page out of Ronald Reagan's playbook to once again break the backs of the unions. When Americans open their eyes and start buying cars built by American based companies and quit sending people like Corker and Shelby to Washington then GM, Ford and Chrysler can get back to the business of building quality cars like they did for many years before the government started telling them what to build and how to build it. If GM goes under who will build our military vehicles? The might and wealth of America was built by companies like GM, Ford, Chrysler, AT&T, Standard Oil, U. S. Steel, railroads and many others. We must support our American companies and give them a level playing field!

    December 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  12. steve r. from Wash st.

    This is the GOP plan: Defeat this bailout / loan because of the oversight that was put in place, Bush flies in with his red capp and gives a bailout with no oversight so these cronies can get their share. Do they think we are stupid. That what happened to the wall street bailout money.

    December 12, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Todd Bronson

    The same "patriots" who told us to buy American for years are the Republicans wanting them to go bankrupt.

    December 12, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  14. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    We need unions down here in the south like they have up north. Workers are taken advantage all of time in the southern states. The southern senators that are looking out for the international auto makers ahead of the US auto makers are UNpatriotic!

    December 12, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  15. Jack

    The new congress should strip the south of all defense contracts and then let's see how loyal their supporters are to the southern strategy.

    December 12, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  16. DrMan

    Doesn't matter how much money we throw at the car companies, they are going to fail. The bottom line is the U.S. wants value for their money, and you don't get it paying for UAW employees. Throw out all the auto execs, it's still not going to get people to buy enough cars to justify the pay the unions demand for their employees when there are far cheaper and more reliable cars available.

    December 12, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Shawn

    You know, It is funny, all those southern boys, whom history has shown are racists, also forget something else. America invented the automobile. Lets see Henry Ford invented. And Bush allowing compaines tax breaks for shipping job overseas. Hey maybe the southern boys don't likeunions. My grandfather grew up in an era where women could not work. He joined a union and was able to alter buy a four bedroom house, pay for my grandmothers extensive medical bills when there was no medical insurance. And schooling for my mother and uncle and aunt. I am pro union, and morons who are against unions, well you have no idea what you are missing. Walmart needs to become union. And bailout our automakers. I drive American cars, and I would rather die than ever an a foregin car. They suck, and they are expensive to get fixed. Other countries don't deserve our money. The US needs our money.
    GO Obama and buy only american.

    December 12, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  18. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    My senator didn't kick anyone the gut–he helped save the American taxpayer from a $14 billion waste of money.

    December 12, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  19. Jeremy

    Why is it that the union gets blamed for wanting $20-$40 an hour for their members, which adds up to around $90,000. On the other hand no one is blaming the CEO's and Directors who pay themselves $22 million a year in salary and bonuses. We only give them a hard time about their private jet? The US President makes less than $1 million!

    December 12, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. frustrated

    People who keep yelling "socialism": Do you listen to the news? Do you see jobs lost and companies collapsing all around you? Do you not care because you still have your job? The lost of those three companies will affect way beyond just the autoworkers. When things become terminally bad, you will be the ones who will scream, why didn't our leaders do anything and it will be too late.

    December 12, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  21. A Real American

    Thanks to the Plantation faction of the Republican Party for putting their devotion to the foreign automobile plants in their states above the welfare of the nation. What a proud moment to be a Republican...

    December 12, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. Robbie

    No money for a failed UAW company! All thieves and ganstas. Only will be good money after bad.

    Dingle the Poster Boy for TERM LIMITS!

    December 12, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. SamSunny

    Maybe the South can still secede……ya think? Do us all a favor.

    December 12, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. Mitchell from MS

    AWWWWW poor Dingel..... where were you in the 1970's when the American auto factories started producing the crap they call cars?

    Oh I am sorry.. did I say something that wasn't PC. The Big 3 deserve this for too long they produced second rate cars at first rate prices and now they expect the US tax payer to pick up their check.

    Kiss my foot there is no way in hell this bailout or any other bail out should ever happen.

    What happened to Capitalism and when did I wake up in the USSR?

    December 12, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  25. angel


    December 12, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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