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. Actually...

    Jon, CNN did a survey a few days ago that indicated 60% of Americans did not approve of the bailout.

    Jason – good God, man, its not possible that someone has valid reasons for disagreeing with you? Anyone who thinks differently than you is "evil?" Good Lord, what has this country come to?

    $70+ is not the UAW pay rate; that's the fully burdened hourly rate. The foreign companies are in the $40 range – there is a $29 difference. The actual hourly pay rates are commensurate between the two workforces. Its the benefits, and things like job banks, retiree health care, and pensions that are so onerous for the Big 3.

    The Big 3 have been held up as examples of what not to do for a very long time. They need to go bankrupt and restructure. Bankruptcy does not mean the companies will cease to exist – Chapter 11 will allow them to restructure. That is the way to long-term success; not this loan that will do nothing to incent actual change at the companies.

    December 12, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. CSM Kent

    Dear, The South,

    If at first you don't secede, try, try again.

    December 12, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. Well Seasoned

    From the article ... "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,”

    Yepper ... and perhaps one of them was listening to the much-vaunted (by Democrats) "will of the people". There isn't a survey on the street (outside of the UAW) that shows that Americans want another bailout.

    December 12, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  4. yellow dog democrat

    No incumbents 2010 – not true! The % of Americans that are either pro or con is pretty much split (probably along party lines – as usual) get it together folks – stop listening to mis-informtion, thats what lost the GOP the election – too much mis-infomation!

    December 12, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  5. liz

    You need someone to blame, BLAME THE CAR COMPANIES!
    I am Southern and a Democrat and I agree with those that blocked it. Handing over cash with little to no liability to the same people who caused the problem in the first place helps NOONE.

    December 12, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Robert

    In the good ole days, Dingell would be caned on the senate floor for impugning the good name of Sens. Corker and Shelby.

    December 12, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  7. Chi Town

    Funny he forgets the dems that voted NO...
    And the 5 like Obama, Biden, Kerry, etc... who didn't even show up...

    They had enough to do it themselves... but didn't...

    REMEMBER THAT

    December 12, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. T

    Um... "Get Real"... the people in the South don't run those companies. The Japanese do. And country of people who make so little that mortgages are for 100 year terms.

    "No incumbents". First... you apparently have a job unlike nearly 10 million Americans now. (Soon to be nearly 13 million if you get your way.) Second... you obviously don't live in the affected parts of the country. Third... you obviously could care less about your fellow American, otherwise you wouldn't be so willing to let 2.9 million of them lose their jobs.

    And finally? When an hour of labor costs $75, only $25 to $30 of that goes to the worker. The rest goes to benefits and corporate overhead (all those finance, accounting, marketing, etc... earners which I would guess you are one of.).

    You are an incredibly selfish and petty person. How Republican of you.

    December 12, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. JK Ashburn, VA

    Hurray for Southern Senators. GM needs to read up on chapter 11. It'll do 'em some good.

    December 12, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  10. texas outlaw

    That's it, blame the workers not the people that run the companies for the problems that are happening with the company.
    Contracts where signed on both ends of the deal.

    December 12, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. common sense

    For those of you complaining about those that stood up against this bill, do you really thinking giving them 15 billion is going to change anything. Going bankrupt does not mean all jobs will be lost. Look at Delta and Northwest Airlines. You always talk about Republicans "fear-mongering" but what do you think the UAW and Dems are doing. Plus what about the pork? Do you know this bill includes raises for judges?

    December 12, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Greg

    BAIL HERE BAIL NOW!

    BUY AMERICAN!

    December 12, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  13. Conservative Independent

    as I recall it was the Dem's back in the 1800's that were the slave masters and voting against Lincoln (a republican) when he was trying to end slavery.

    All the parties have dirty hands. Don't go singling out the Republicans. By the way I'm not one....

    December 12, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  14. Dean

    As a southerner I don't remember having to pay for any foreign automakers to locate to the depressed south. And our state income has increased greatly with the employment they have brought to the area so my states standards have been greatly increased with no cost to its residents.
    If you want to live in a socialist country that depends on government shoring up incompetent businesses, give France a try.

    December 12, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  15. kravitz

    it's possible dingell's right. those imported plants are being built mostly in southern states, while the closing big three plants are mostly in the northern states. but chrysler has built so many cars in canada and mexico that i don't even think of them as a u.s. company anymore anyway.

    December 12, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  16. CTSadler

    I'm starting to believe more and more in that Russian intelligence report that stated the US will fracture in 50 years. I'll be glad to get rid of the south.

    December 12, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Lynn in NM

    Once again, if the Democrats have the majority, how can the Republicans block the bill? Sounds like blaming someone for something they have no control over. Seems to me that there are some DEMOCRATS that don't want the bill!

    December 12, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  18. Irritated in Fl

    When is the Government going to figure it out? The people have spoken and we are TIRED of bailouts. The auto industry, right down to the guys installing the bumpers could care less if we become late on a car payment and lose a major investment, not to mention our only transportation so why in the hell should we the people save their butts? Enough is enough. Let them file bankruptsy and go jobless just like the rest of us!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  19. No Incumbents 2010 is an idiot

    Where are you getting this "$70.00" p/hour crap from??? You're mama doesn't even make $70.00 in a whole month selling herself on the streets.

    December 12, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  20. Mike, Syracuse NY

    8 Democratic Senators either voted against or didn't vote, including VP-elect Biden, Kennedy and Kerry. Did Obama express his 'disappintment' to them? Because if they had supported it, that was 60 votes!

    Jason, you are historically challenged. In the 1860's most slave owners were Democrats, and it was a Republican President that freed the slaves (Lincoln). Get educated.

    December 12, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    georgia's senator chambliss voted against the bailout, but he's putting millions of dollars into a tourist attraction for his home town, what about helping the economy before putting so much money in a project like this, many georgians like so many other states are suffering.

    December 12, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  22. life

    It seems to me that this bailout is not of the auto companies but their workers and retirees. This bailout comes not from the government but from American taxpayers. How does one justify asking American workers, most of whom make far less in pay and benefits, to provide money to protect the bloated benefits that the UAW retirees were promised?

    For years the UAW has extracted compensation that many said would be ruinous to their industry. The chickens have come home to roost. Workers that have to make due with Medicare and Social Security in their retirement should not be asked to pay for the lavish pensions and health care expected by UAW retirees.

    December 12, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  23. MR

    $700 million for the financial industry and not a penny for American auto makers? Cut me a brake (sp;-) This is a brazen attempt by Republicans to kill the auto unions, and also to feather their own nests by supporting foreign auto makers in their home states.

    Funny how, if you look at the electoral map, most of the plants that would close are in states that went to Obama.

    The irony is that most everyone but the rich in the southern states have been disadvantaged by this anti-union dynamic that keeps wages and benefits at such miserly levels. Ever notice how Walmart owns the South? And the poor fools keep voting Republican. Guess they are getting what they deserve...

    December 12, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. Milhouse van Houten

    It ain't over until it's over.......me thinks this still has some life to it.

    December 12, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  25. Patty

    Good!!!!!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
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