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. jman

    you all are a bunch of fools... Unions are destroying this country. How much feakin industry do you all think will be left if unions controlled everything. 0, none, zilch..

    Unions make China look very appealing to busnisess. Unions are a bunch of greedy f'ers that deserve to die by the same greed they live by. And to bring patriotism into this? You leftist idiots spit on your own troops, yet praise socialism. I would love to kick all you morons out of here. Go put on your pink panties. So now us Rep. are haters, discriminators, unpatriotic, etc... You liberals are the biggest bunch of hippy pus((ies i have ever seen.

    And you you TEXAS OUTLAW, if you love and praise socialism so much, get the %$$ out of here and go live in Canada. But don't preach your line of Sh#$ to me....

    December 12, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. Sue T

    This is exactly what is going to keep the Republicans from gaining anymore sets in the House and Congress and from the White people that are against this auto loan, you must think that this isn't going to effect you........but it is going to hurt everyone in every state in this country, from big companies to the small companies, it will effect all........Republicans don't think that the people of this country aren't going to blame you if they lose their jobs, which will lead to them losing their homes, can't send their children to college, can't feed their families...........this will hit all business that aren't even affiliated with the auto industry, because if they lose their jobs, they won't be able to take their families out to eat........get their hair or nail done so this is going to trickle down to all of if you think this is going to effect only the auto industry you better get you head out of the sand.......

    December 12, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. George in CA

    UAW refused to take pay cuts, so they can go bankrupt. UAW salaries are not competitive, so they need to be dealt with fairly. Most people don't get guaranteed salary.

    Now mind you, the executives should get major pay cuts too. The big 3 are not competitive. The GOVT should not bail out an industry unless they are willing to be competitive.

    December 12, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. take that

    If the south wants to take away our auto industry, Fine, Take away their NASCAR

    December 12, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Bush

    who is Prescott Bush?

    We search required.

    Lots of cars in the port of LA, CA from those auto makers in the south.

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

    Is it just me or have our elected officials FORGOTTEN that they represent the CITIZENS of the state who notimated them! Why would they vote yes when more than 50% of the poplation does NOT want the bailout!!!!!!!And for this jerk to toss up the word "PARTIOTISM" for the AMERICAN WORKER and the BIG 3!!! Hello..these international automakers are employing AMERICAN workers and are successful and have a successful business plan! Rep. Dingell needs to take a LONG HARD LOOK at what constitutes being PATRIOTIC! Was Ford PATRIOTIC when they closed down the plant in Atlanta? Doesn't Ford own a manufacturing plant outside of the U.S.? WHY O WHY should the AMERICAN taxpayers have to bailout a CORPORATION that had poor business plans, failed to keep up with what the AMERICAN public wanted and needed to buy? Rep. Dingell, I served my country and I am VERY PARTIOTIC, but big business did not care about the AMERICAN public or their needs. They just wanted our money. Rep. Dingell, I say to you, if you're not smart enough to grasp why the taxpayer shouldn't bail the Big 3 out, I feel sorry for the state of Michigan for voting for you and you can kiss my AMERICAN PATRIOTIC BUTT!!!!

    December 12, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. Ben

    To those that disapprove of the senate republican's actions: why do you think that auto companies are thriving in the South? Maybe companies are relocating there due to lower taxes and the better economy.

    What is the REAL problem with the big 3 auto industry? Wikipedia helps:
    "Michigan supported Democrats in the last five presidential elections. Democrats have won each of the last three, nine of the last ten, and fifteen of the last eighteen U.S. Senate elections in Michigan. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, recently won a second term"

    DEMOCRATS are choking your economy, and you keep voting them in.

    December 12, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  8. Greg Hodges

    Ask not what you can do for yout country; ask what you can do for your stinking/neanderthal anti-workers ideology.Talk about the tail trying to wag the dog. How do these Southern fascists think they are helping anyone with these games they insist on playing. They are practically foaming at the mouth with the thought they can destoy the U.A.W. in one fell swoop. Never mind that they are playing with the lives of millions of American citizens. These idiots make me sick!!!

    December 12, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. George in CA

    Oh, I love this. People blaming the republicans for the auto industry's failings. No one bailed my job out when we were laid off due to this financial crisis.

    December 12, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. libbssuck1

    Good! the big 3 should go under!

    December 12, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  11. ramer biggs

    midwesteners boycott any southern state that voted against the bailout.especially alabama.

    December 12, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  12. Toyin

    Southern senators? No it is not them, it is the people here. I live in Georgia and I will tell you something about some southerners, they see everything in black and White. The South has the most uneducated people in America and that is why they cannot process any information.

    December 12, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Don

    Enough with the bail outs till there is some oversight of what is done with the money. None of the bail outs to wall steet, AIG, the banking industry have so far done absolutely nothing.

    December 12, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. Ruth


    Make them pay those people in south more money.
    Make laws so that they make more money to help, since I would not buy no cars from the south. Law needed to ensure those auto makers provide insurances for all workers working for them.

    Let help our auto makers. Give them money. Also, give the families the 10 Million dollars that Bank of America is going to give that CEO.

    December 12, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  15. John Slagle

    I mean seriously, would you buy an American car now?
    This first bailout is just the start. Name someone you know, with this turned down economy, that is going to buy a new American car.
    I really don't see anyone buying American cars in the future unless the US auto industry is secure.
    So with that said, how about giving every American some sort of coupon (5 to 10 thousand) towards the purchase of a new American car.
    This insures that they can and will continue manufacturing cars. It also keeps the bailout money out of the hands of the management that mismanaged the companies in the first place.
    If people are not going to buy the cars than there is no need for a bailout, because the American car industry is already over.

    December 12, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. BeefyDaddy

    Take back the 700B for those white collar crooks who are just hoarding it anyway and give a tiny fraction of it to the blue-collar workers of America!!

    I HATE the idea of a bailout. But I HATE the idea of another Depression even more!

    The financial bailout is BS. The auto bailout will save jobs.

    Unions did not cause this problem. White collar criminals and their greedy plans to make millions off of obscure credit default swaps etc caused the problem.

    Give the autos the money. Just place heavy restrictions on it, so that when things improve we get the money back!

    December 12, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. No incumbents 2010

    Texas outlaw, I too am a Texan. I appreciate you, you sound intelligent. My biggest problem with the things our government does and no offense mainly democrats, is that they feel, that it is their responsibility to take care of people who either do not need and even sometimes do not want it. In this case however it is an effort to save jobs, very noble, but another problem I have is people do not take it all the way to its logical conclusion. This is not the first time this has happened and will probably not be the last. If people lose their jobs, who is to say that, they will not open their own auto industry or think about it – with the Big 3 out of the way, the remaining auto makers will see an increase in production, thus requiring more employees.
    You speak of the republicans taking care of the fat cats, that is the pot calling the kettle black considering the Democrats have lined there own pockets with Union ill gotten gain for years.
    And finally let's ask the question who is next? How many workers are important? What if Mom and Pop go under 4 employees are not that important? While you Dems are at it let's put a stop to government healthcare, it would be noble thing to do considering how many insurance workers would be unemployed, or wouldn't that number be just as devastating?

    December 12, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  18. Ruth

    Also, the hedge fund managers make an average of $800,000,000.00 per year. Go get your MBA fools.GGGGGGGG

    December 12, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. BK

    I'm no fan of the UAW, however, this loan needs to happen. The economy can't stand the failure of our entire manufacturing base. The transplant companies share over 50% of the supply base with the (truly) American companies, thus would have to bail out of the US and head home as the suppliers fail.

    It's time for a little "economic patriotism" – buy American and help the entire country.

    Oh, and by the way southerners, the next time you need help during a hurricane – look to each other. The north won't be bothered with you!

    December 12, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. jman

    Gee Teri D, if you husband hadn't been making crappy cars, and belonged to a mafia run union, GM might of had a chance... Tough life for you huh? 3 homes, college, and money to spend...

    tell that crappy sob story to the people at Republic Door and Window in Chicago who had to do a "sit in" just to get there back earned vacation money. Where is there bailout? Where is my bailout? I hope they never buy a crappy GM again... I know i wont.


    Nobody cares about the workers, and nobody should... Its business!!! Go work for the English government if you want job security!!

    December 12, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  21. Bob

    Also, the hedge fund managers make an average of $800,000,000.00 per year. Go get your MBA fools.GGGGGGGG

    December 12, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  22. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Congressman Dingell is absolutely right!

    And, unfortunately, Senator Shelby of Alabama is the worst among them. The media should investigate all of these Senators. In Senator Shelby's case he is engaging in union busting plain and simple. That, plus Mercedes, Hyndai, Honda and Toyota are all strong in this state and undoubtedly contributing large funds to his political coffers.

    Forget about the workers though, none of the plants we have are union shops. Senator Shelby and the others should be ashamed of themselves selling American workers, American manufacturers, and ultimately American jobs down the river.

    If we lose these American companies do you really think we can count on Japanese and German companies in time of war to build what we we need to defend ourselves?

    They need to be investigated, impeached or jailed!

    December 12, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  23. Bob

    But don't question their patriotism!

    December 12, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. MIKE

    I am glad the Republican Senators blocked the bill. and I am a Democrat who voted for Obama.
    the "big 3" make cars no one wants, have for years and years refused to listen to the American public about what to build etc, etc.
    Now they want billions and billions in tax dollars to save theit butts. Well, guess what – let them go bankrupt. Someone will buy them and start making cars we want.

    December 12, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  25. Jarhead

    Perhaps its the Southern Senators who are not in the back pockets of the lig unions up north–perhaps its the Southern Senators who realize that the unions are in no way going to cooperate or compromise in an honest effort to save the auto industry–its all about union greed–pure and simple. Maybe it was the Southern Senators who recognized that.

    December 12, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
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