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. Charlie NJ

    You can put the blame where ever you want sounds like the senator from Michigan Mr Dingell didn't get his way and he's acting like you took candy out of his mouth. The UAW wouldn't take a pay cut because at $70 an hour if they cut there pay they might struggle?? If they can't live well at $70 an hour maybe they should do something else. They've been milking the cow long enough and now it's time to face facts whether they like it or not. Now they look at the goverment to help them out. If you make a lousy product and over charge for it no one will by it. Bailout or not Toyota's honda's and nissans etc are a lot better built last alot longer and have better resale.

    December 12, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Jon

    No incumbents, where do you get the idea that the majority of Americans disagree with the bailout? Your post is your personal opinion and nothing more.

    December 12, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  3. No incumbents 2010

    Auto Executive average salary: $ 27,000,000

    Average cost of 1 hour labor for a United Auto Worker: $ 75.00

    Cost of Regulations by a Democrat ruled Congress to build cars no one wants: $ Billions

    The Senate blaming Republicans for the Auto industry woes:


    December 12, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. Darko

    “Last night, some Southern Senators kicked American workers in the gut,” ...

    Well, you've been kicking the rest of American workers in the gut for years. It's high time that we quit throwing money away.

    Chapter 11 benefits without the stigma of being 'bankrupt' and they STILL WOULDN'T ACCEPT IT. To hell with the Unions and the Big 3.

    Their 'layoff' benefits are SO GOOD, that they'd rather be layed off than work under a pay or benefit cut to be on the same level as the rest of us. Same goes for their management!

    You nor I OWE the big three anything. Chapter 11 is the solution, end of story.

    December 12, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Ron

    We are turning into a welfare state with everyone sticking their hands out for free government money. Pull yourselves up by your boot straps, have some real American pride and save yourselves. Those of us that work for well-run companies can't foot the bill for all these bailouts.

    December 12, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Larry

    Everyone knows that John Dingell does not take a breath or even get out of bed each day unless the UAW gives him permission. So, any comment he makes concerning the US Automobile Industry has to taken with some (okay, a lot of) skepticism.

    December 12, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Linda, NY

    It's good to see someone state this-the politicians from the south have been working against the rest of America for a long time.

    December 12, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. Bobby from MS

    Hey Jason here is a bit of a history lesson for you, you dolt. REPUBLICANS FREED THE SLAVES, THE DEMS WERE THE OLD SOUTHERN BOYS WHO OWNED THEM.


    December 12, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. Republicans have destroyed the country

    Richard Shelby, Mitch McConnell, David Vitter, Jim DeMint, Bob Corker (anyone feel free to add to these losers): these senators have failed America again, McConnell was just reelected ironically. The country is slow, but we are learning just how worthless the Republicans are. Give Bush the money for an illegal war but don't give money to save American businesses and millions of jobs. Makes a lot of sense!

    Real leadership coming in 2009!

    December 12, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Josh

    Jason – you just spewed complete garbage. Not everyone who DIDN'T vote for Obama is a racist, as you try and point out. There are some areas of the country, namely smaller towns, that do better with Republican policy.

    Sen. Dingellberry is mad that his cash cow can't run a competitive business. If I were a senator in a state with Honda or Toyota.. and considering around 50% of the public is against the loan.. I would probably vote against it as well.

    December 12, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Jonathan

    Thank god for Southern Senators! Let the current way fo doing business for the big 3 die. Americans will re-build...WITHOUT the unions!

    December 12, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. The T

    Bail out banks and wallstreet but not worker....slavemasters that what they are....

    December 12, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. Get Real

    Gee could this be that in the South, the auto makers down "THERE" actually know how to run a "successful" auto business without the worthless unions unlike the Detroit area. Seems the non-union businesses are better than the union ones. Maybe "THIS" is the change America needs.

    December 12, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. mc

    Now we know where the Grinch lives – in the South! These Senators, including our own McConnell, are attempting to steal Christmas.

    December 12, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. Jason

    Nice job painting this as a geographical issue. Perhaps the southern senators recognize that: 1. Taxpayer money shouldn't be used to prop up a failing for-profit company, and 2. There are already BILLIONS of dollars approved for just such a purpose ($15B out of $700B is 2%!).

    So the South has replaced textile and furniture plants with profitable automotive plants – good for them.

    December 12, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. Kevin

    Wow Jason...prejudice much?

    December 12, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. Ray

    It was rather obvious what the southern senators with Japanese car factories in their back yards had in mind.Kill off the American competetion and to hell with American workers.So much for reaching across the aisle.

    December 12, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Carole

    The Repubs think they look like the good ole NEWT and DELAY days when you had a bunch of PALIN type people turning out in droves that bought into the 'fear' tactics.

    Those days are gone! Now they look like a group of racist white guys who don't care one bit about the Average Joe. NOT Joe the Plumber or Joe the Sixpack like they think of. But Average Joe.




    December 12, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. Luther

    I totally understand WHY a bailout is needed but for the life of me, I can't understand why the Unions refuse to share some of the blame and solution. The Labor problem with the Auto industry has been there for sometime. The Executive teams are not the only cause of this trainwreck. The economy just made the problem present itself faster.

    If the Unions REFUSE to take pay cuts to help the American auto industry compete, then let them fail. An industry should not get PUBLIC money if they cannot make smart decisions for their own survival.

    December 12, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. Richard Rohde

    These same instrnsigent bloated unions absolutely refused to cooperate in any way. They killed the auto makers, just like they killed the steelmakers, the garment makers and the airlines with their unbelievable greed. Why did you think Blago wanted to become a union exec as part of his price for selling Husseins seat. He could continue the corruption and greed. How much did UAW give to ACORN during the last election to elect the new clown majoritiy in Congress, including the bankiing queen, Barney Frank.

    Don't worry they will get what they want, thank god, a few brave Republicans will stand up to the liberal /communist wrath in fighting against the criminally corrupt organizations like UAW.

    December 12, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. dave

    No incumbents 2010:

    How many people in that majority you talked about know anything more than "tax dollars are going to a business?" You think they understand the many details of this bill? Are you trying to imply that the people working on this bill have no more understanding of it than the average joe?

    Yes, a majority of people are opposed to it. But that same majority will also complain more as the economy gets worse and will not see any connection. If it were up to the majority to decide things, they would vote for no taxes and then revolt when they found out there were no roads to drive on...

    December 12, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Kwaku Adusei


    December 12, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. texas outlaw

    All that matters to these republicans is their idea of Capitolism. To them this is what defines the United States of America. They are not concerned with all of the other aspects of this country that are great.
    I will call them antipatriotic and anti socialist. Society needs some socialism it is the root of the word. Liberty is another word they like to throw out the window. Like liberal is a bad word. Their idologly promotes selfishness and greed. What's in it for me, why should I help someone else. Those are two things this country can do without. They are willing sacrifice the working mans job to keep good relations with the Corporate Fat Cats in their states. They try and say they are looking out for the American people when they are really only looking out for their own interest. Part of that interest is to try and make the Democrats look bad. They will say the Democratic congress can't get anything done, when the dems have a 1 vote majority and can't get the 60 needed by themselves. They blame the democratic congress when it is their Partisinship that is the problem. They are still fighting instead of uniting in a state of crises. Stupid Greed and Idology.
    Coker is trying to position himself for the future.

    December 12, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. Jared

    Maybe John Dingell should take time to think about what he has done to help get the auto industry into this mess. A little tough love for them on fuel standards years ago might have been helpful and even kept us out of an oil war or two.

    December 12, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Vicki5

    I can't believe the Senate Republicans sold out to the foreign auto companies. It just makes me sick. I would like the culprits' finances investigated. I'd like to see how much of a pay-off they accepted for selling out the American people.

    December 12, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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