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. Joe

    Allen is an idiot. CNN sucks

    December 12, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Sam

    Rep. Dingell wasn't specific enough. He should have said "some southern REPUBLICAN senators, the same bunch of half-wits who time and time again show that they don't give a rat's patootie about working men and women.

    Seeing some of these bozos voted out of office would be change I could really believe in.

    December 12, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Tres

    the WHOLE thing free trade just FRAUD let all other jjunks cheap cars flood this country AND and THROW AWAY ALL JOBS TO CHINA and bring 20 mills illegal ,thanks to clinton whos AUTHOR.
    can we replace all politicans with wages from labor whos not even spell their own name ?

    CNN PLS POST THIS

    December 12, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  4. bill in montgomery

    Don't blame the UAW for anything after all they've been making worthless cars for 40 years now with no intention of changing. Wished I had a job that when I get layed off I still get 95% of my salary. Screw the UAW!! By the way, I only buy Japanese and European cars. At least they don't break down as soon as you drive them off the dealer's lot! I'll buy American when the Big 3 learn how to make a decent car!

    December 12, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. Joseph Newon

    Republican support for Wall Street over Main Street has been demonstrated yet again. They can muster enough votes for a $700 billion bail-out for the banks (no questions asked), but complain about $34 billion that could save millions of jobs. Fewer will be members of congress come January 20th. Let's hope that trend continues.

    December 12, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  6. frank

    good they have ripped of many with thier junk cars.

    December 12, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  7. captdcb

    Good old Southern politics. Maybe somebody should remind them that the majority of auto workers in Michigan all came from the South back in the 30`s thru the 60`s. So much for Southern loyalty. I agree that the UAW must make concessions. I read awhile ago about a fork lift driver at Ford making $125,000 a year donating a considerable sum of money to a college in Detroit, Wayne State to name it.

    December 12, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. David

    Those southern Republican senators have a vested interest in the failure of the American auto makers and failure of the unions. Their southern auto industry is based on foreign imports, which obtained their emergency loans from their own countries. Besides receiving free land and billions in tax incentives from the American public, to build their plants in the southern states to compete with American auto makers. So more than ever, we know the southern Republican senators are NOT on the side of America or American workers. Which also changes how Americans view the imports.

    December 12, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. irene

    The GOP spoils it for the country again. If they're so worried about the budget, why don't thgey make the oil companies bail out Detroit? After all, the GOP forged the the alliance that ripped us all off and made obscene profits for big poil.

    Why does anybody belong to this party anymore? Theyre so busy worrying about gay marriage and their brand of morality while selling us out. The GOP are the most unpatriotic jerks who only care about themselves and their party.

    Thanks a lot Southern Senators. I hope your constituents remember what idiots you are when the next election comes around! I know that's asking a lot from the South!

    December 12, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. bob j

    i work for a toyota dealership and i say this is a sad day for my brothers and sisters who are employed at big 3 dealerships ,its the avg american who is getting hurt we need the american big three when things go bad for the big three things will go bad for all people in the industry and if the senators who voted no for the bailout voted because their state has a mfg plant they should be booted out of office there action is unpatriotic i long for the day when pres elect obama is sworn in maybe he can restore order and i hope our current pres will step to the plate and give them some wall street bail out money

    December 12, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. Wolf

    Unpatriotic my rear end! Using hard earned taxpayer's money to bail out companies that rewards poor leadership, shoddy construction compared to peers, and poor market forecasting–now that would be unpatriotic!

    American autoworkers employees from the CEO to the sanitation crew have been making a killing on the backs of Joe Sixpack consumer and now they want to make another killing on the backs of Joe Sixpack taxpayer. They get huge salaries, bonuses, and benefits that most of us can't even dream of.

    Thank goodness there are a few Congressmen out there who have enough nerve to vote this down.

    December 12, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. GuyInVA

    Jason, when is race mentioned in this article? What has this got to do with the President-elect? Am I a racist if I didn't vote for Obama? I don't think so. Also, I would imagine that quite a few members of both parties are descendants of slave masters. Does that make them somehow culpable for the most terrible part of our national history? Dingell is just whining about losing the fight. I'm against the auto bailout, and was against the initial $700 billion bailout too. In calendar year 2007, millions of Americans went hungry at least once. Estimates say about 12 million of those were children 12 and under. We had no money for them. If they are hungry, they must be poor. If they're poor, how can they donate to a campaign? Forget'em. However, a union worker at GM can give. Well, the union can give his money without his knowledge anyway. Right, Congressman Dingell?

    December 12, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  13. Bobby from MS

    Again if you want someone to blame, look in the mirrior. Detroit made and still makes an inferior product.

    You could look at the unions who are driving cost up or to you proud to be American I say the Southerners did what needed to be done. Stop this madness of bailing every business that begs for money out.

    The tax payers should not have to dig deeper into their pockets so save a bunch a cooperations that made terrible bussiness choices. Even after years of declining sales they did not adjust their strategies and so we are were we are today.

    December 12, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. Hue

    I don't believe that the auto industry should be bailed out. Unfortunately, at this present time the country cannot take such a economic hit. The collapse of the auto industry would send this country in a downward spiral and cause a great deal of stress on other industries. This is the plain and simple truth of the matter. I don't like the fact they need money but the picture of them going under would be much uglier. I rather give them the money and have it supervised than what's getting ready to happen. Bush will take the money from the 700 billion and bail them out. What the southern senators did was shameful and with total disregard to the impact this will have on the country. They 're only looking out for themselves which is the problem with politics today. I heard one southern senator say "Let them file for bankruptcy and move to the south". Another sad day in American politics...

    December 12, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  15. Concerned American

    If salaries is 10% of the debt of the Autoworkers, why would the GOP focus on salaries as a way to resolve the Auto Industry. 10% IS SALARIES and 90% IS OTHER DEBT NOT RELATED TO SALARIES. The GOP Republican senators should all be ousted. They are risking destabilizing the economy worse than what it is now, for a personal AGENDA. The crooks still have a few weeks before some of them are out of office and making it Impossible for AMERICANS and their families. They do not care about anybody but their own interests.

    December 12, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  16. Josh

    Wow, Dingell. You really burned those "Southern Senators" with that comment. How dare they put the interests of their states' citizens over the interests of your buddies in the UAW?

    After all, they weren't sent to Congress to look out for the interests of their states. They were sent there to play ball with the unions and fatten their campaign war chests like you and Chris Dodd, right?

    Nice work using the "Southern" epithet as well. I'm sure that wasn't meant to imply that those Senators are backwards, racist or out of touch. For all your self-righteous grandstanding, you liberals are even better than Republicans at playing identity politics.

    Here's a great idea: Get a real job, and stop trying to play god with money you never earned and clearly have clue how to manage.

    December 12, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. Tim

    Congress has finally voted on the side of the majority of Americans. Just like the Presidential election the American people made the decision. The executives and UAW are responsible for the problems with the auto industry. If we give them money now we, our grandkids, and great grandkids will still be bailing them out.

    December 12, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  18. Matt

    Those southern Senators are the most effective members of the DIET that Japan has ever produced. It's good they lost the Civil War because I would have trouble understanding their cotton mouthed lunatic mutters when they come out with Japanese accents.

    December 12, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. Ted:Canada

    Canada is waiting to give their BIG 3 8 Billion!

    Wake up Republicans! what do you have against the average worker in North America?

    No problem giving it to the big Banks a bailout but the average auto worker who is trying to survive you had no problem syaing NO!

    Republicans get off our you IDEOLOGY butt – start caring for the real people!

    Go to south america or some place like that
    GET OFF the continent!

    December 12, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Its clear that the Southern Republicans continue to demonstrate that they are out of touch with the rest of the country. Until they learn to work across the aisle instead of being knee-jerk obstructionists, they will continue to lose election after election on the national level.

    Specific to "No Incumbents 2010" – I actually admire leaders who genuinely LEAD, rather than have their votes driven entirely by public opinion polls. Great leaders risk doing the unpopular, yet right, thing.

    Specific to "Perusing-Through" – I like your thinking...although I would suggest that everyone at the car companies absorb pay cuts porportionate to their incomes relative to the national household average income. Not unlike income taxation, those who CAN afford to take the hits should, in fact, be asked to sacrifice more for the good of the company and, in this case, the country.

    December 12, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. Terri D

    Why it is ok for Wall Street to loose half of my retirement and lawmakers reward them with $700 billion dollars by appearing before congress with two (2) pieces of paper? While the companies that employee the men and women that get dirty and sweat have to beg for a loan? By the way, the white collar workers caused this mess!

    My husband retired from GM four years ago; he worked 36 years at five different plants around the country. Prior to that he served our country in Viet Nam and when he returned, GM said, "come on back." Our family has been able to purchase three homes and send me (the spouse to college) and save for our son and grandson's college. We contribute to our community with our tax dollars and by supporting local trade (markets, restaurants, cleaners, service stations, malls etc.). We have taken a big cut in medical benefits at the beginning of this year. For most of the years my husband was employed, we had free health care but now we have a Blue Cross plan which we have to pay for all office and lab fees.

    The problem is my husband can’t go back and work for $14.00 per hr. He is old and not in good health; so you Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and BMW owner that believe the American Big Three Auto makers don't desire a bridge loan, just wait until it is time for you to retire and see if your Social Security is all that you hoped it would be.

    I guess you all won’t be happy until the foreign car manufactures are totally in charge of all auto manufacturing! Locally there is a commercial running by Toyota that hints: come and see us about buying a car….we have money!

    Angry Retired GM spouse!
    Inglewood, CA

    December 12, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  22. 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, housing foreclosures, 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 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. lenny

    100% AGREE!!!!! They are protecting foreign interests at the expense of the US
    THIS IS A SERIOUS NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE.

    December 12, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. texas outlaw

    No incombents:
    So many people don't understand that is going to affect them even though they don't work for one of those companies. Also when you have the Republicans acting like we are just bailing out the CEO's of the companies and not telling the public what is really going to happen if these companies fail it adds to the lack of understanding of the public. Majority of the public wanted to go into Iraq too until they found out they where misinformed. These republicans come from that whole group of crooked liers that just got booted out office.
    The fact is they are letting good people suffer for their own interest.
    These are the same republicans that deregulated everything and caused the economic crises we are in today. These are the same republicans that chose to continue sacrificing American lives in Iraq long after they should have. They are not patriotic, they just take advantage of people that are by misleading them with false information and their relegious idology.

    December 12, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. rob

    I live in Michigan and used to work for a company (Collins & Aikman)that supplied dash components exclusively for GM. We were a "third tier supplier" and not UAW. When we closed 5 years ago the UAW, GM, nor any politicians cared. I have a relative who retired from GM and his pension is over $6,000 a month. My wife and I never made anywhere near that combined, working all the hours we could. I really don't care what happens now.

    December 12, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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