December 12th, 2008
05:19 PM ET
3 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. Al Kuhn

    Here is the New Deal for the south

    Do not buy a car if it is manufactured below the mason dixon line and ironically, you will be buying for the United States of America.

    Buying American today means buyiing anything imported into the country.

    Serious as hell!

    December 12, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Ladont

    Let them go bankrupt. I am certain that the US taxpayer would much prefer to pick up GM's 56 Billion unfunded pension plan versus giving them $8 Billion to stay operating (Not sure how unfunded Chrysler and Ford's are.). Bankruptcy won't end the unions. It will simply void the contract and then the negotiating starts all over again. Of course, all those suppliers – the same suppliers who work for Toyota, Honda, etc. – will have to declare bankruptcy too and probably need to shut down for awhile. No problem! we'll just buy American-made foreign cars ... once the manufacturers are able to get new suppliers (If they can). Otherwise, we'll just send even more money out of the country.

    December 12, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  3. TURN TEXAS BLUE

    TO NO INCUMBENTS 2010!!!!!

    Please just stop blogging already, you are making my stomach turn, and you are just like the rest of the STUPID republicans, think you know everything. CNN is fair and balanced you sound like you should be on the website of FOX NEWS, with BILL"O the CLOWN, BOy looking VAN, and NOTHING HANNITY!!!!!

    BYE! GO, if you are reading this you are still here!!! GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 12, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. M. Felder

    Those who have an issue with money will never have any money. It reminds me of the joke about a man who told his wife that when he died he wanted to be buried with all of his money. The wife's friends told her that his request was ridiculous. Upon his death, one of her friends asked if she was foolish enough to bury the money with him. She replied, "Yes" I wrote him a check. The point is that some people should not put there hang up with money on the world. Some of us believe in abundance. And we trust that the universe will provide.

    December 12, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  5. yellow dog democrat

    Its hard to live in the south if you stand up for something different than the status quo you get booted – believe me I know – I voted for Obama (more importantly a "black" man) now I am disowned! but i vote my concious and i look at everyone for what they are.

    December 12, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. No incumbents 2010

    My bad, I rounded up a bit. $69.00 per hour which includes all the benefits. At least that is according to AP. And that crack about my mama was sweet. I like that from the Party that cares.

    December 12, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  7. Ernie in LA

    Here is just another old fart that needs to retire.

    December 12, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  8. Ed

    Hey Jason, who posted at 5:31 - Read your history!

    The Republican party was founded in large part by abolitionists seeking to end slavery. For 100 years after the civil war, the segregated south was solidly Democratic because the north during the civil war was led by Republicans, who liberated the southern slaves. Think what you want about the modern-day party, but from your comment, I would say you are as close-minded as you are ignorant. Get out more and learn something.

    December 12, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. christian davis

    I work for a japan auto parts co , that 50% of our work is for GM AND Ford I am ashamed of both of my senators, I HOPE GOD WILL FORGIVE THEM because I will ever be able to ,from a Tn.auto worker

    December 12, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. PL

    Just like republicans to cut off their nose to spit their face. What a bunch of idiots, nothing like putting a couple million more American out of work. Let's pour billion into overseas markets.

    December 12, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. dustin

    conservative indepent: you do realize that the two political parties flip flopped on what they believe, dems yes many decades ago were the party of states rights and were southern racists, and republicans like lincoln fought for a stronger federal gov and was opposed to slavery, but to use that as the example to discredit the left is just silly.

    December 12, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. RFS

    to Terri D.
    You wrote:
    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.
    I've been working since 1975 supporting our community merchants and I've always had to pay for office and lab visits. And I made a lot less per hour that the average unionized auto worker. And I am supposed to feel sorry for your current situation?

    December 12, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. jim

    Why is it we resort to blaming people? Dingell has been in Congress for five decades and it shows. Hopefully Obama can help change this culture of blaming everybody when something doesn't go right. The blame should be with the US auto makers. GM and Toyota made approximately the same number of vehicles last year. Difference in profits – over $50 billion. TM made money, GM lost (and lots of it).

    December 12, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. Luigi ina California

    Those crazty Dems are at it again: saving American taxpayers from having to fund years of top-down mismanagement, over-priced and gas guzzling vehicles, and just down-right backward thinking stupidity. Of all the nerve.

    December 12, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  15. What about what the PEOPLE want?

    What Dingell doesn't seem to remember is that the bill did not have the support of the majority of Americans. Polls repeatedly show the majority of Americans against both the auto and financial bailouts.

    December 12, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  16. Sandy

    Why does everyone think an autoworker makes $70 an hour? That' simply not true.

    December 12, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. Irritated in Fl

    Maybe the southern senators are just a little more informed than the good ole boys up north give them credit for. See, the southern people average about 8.00 an hour and the Senators have watched their people struggle for too long. You yankees brag about what a good life GMC gave you, buying three houses, college etc. Well, down here in the south the majority have to spend 2/3 of their paycheck for some piece of crap rental housing and barely make it payday to payday. And yeah, we pay taxes too. maybe not as much because we don't make as much but trust me, those taxes hurt when it comes time to buy groceries. It seems that only the states where corruption is prevalant and big bucks flow into politicians hands, does the way of living exsist above the poverty level. Down here in the south, we fight to stay republican because we want equality. The majority of democrats here are kicking back on welfare and foodstamps and loathe to see their way of life change. Fortunately, I live in a county where one has to work for their welfare and foodstamps unless you have small children or are disabled. Guess you can see why we are having a baby boom of democrats huh? Some people will always find away around the rules. I thank god for our leaders here who are actually for the people. Government is getting too big.

    December 12, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. George McMac

    Since when does the GOVERNMENT have the right to bail out bankrupt businesses with tax money volun-told to be contributed by the working public? So much emphasis is placed on the POOR WORKING people that will suffer IF a bailout is not given, is so much political blue smoke filling the air. Without proper over-sight and concessions by the UAW the $$$ today will be squandered with the $$$ of yesterday. Next to the government, there is few industries operating with such a low level of ETHICS as that of the automovtive industry as_ a whole. I bought my LAST NEW car in 1984 after getting caught up in the devious tangled web of what was billed as a "LEMON LAW." The BBB the corporate office of the AUTOMOTIVE manufacturer, GM . . . and the so called UNBIASED arbitrators that are being paid by the MANUFACTURE, who also pays for the office space at the BBB in St. Louis, MO are all guilty of scheming to hold themselves out to be one thing while clearly wearing the cloake of a rabbid fox.
    I AM GRATEFUL THAT I AM ALIVE AND BENG ABLE TO SEE THE POSSIBILITY OF GM GOING BELLY UP; A WELL DESERVED AWARD THAT THEY CAN HANG ON THEIR WALLS.

    December 12, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. DIZIZI31

    As my favorite cable person now (sorry Countdown Host.. ) RM would say .. lame duck watch!!!

    December 12, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  20. Franky

    That's bogus. You don't blame southern GOP for the fallout and first of all, I think is disrespectful that he's picking a certain group and second, the GOP in particular have been opposed to this for a good time. At least they are talking but is gonna take a little more than what Hillary said about my boy in the primaries..."Let's all sit and wait and hope the skies will smile and everyone will be happy...(God, I hate her husband, LOL!)."

    I do feel bad for the millions of people that are being affected and let's do in fact show a good gesture that we do care about them, especially that is the holidays. This time is about being together and striving to help one another. The lord wouldv'e want this...

    December 12, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. Susan

    What really ticks me off is listening to McConnell, Shelby et al pontificate about workers taking a pay cut when I didn't hear boo out of any of them when their rich banking and finance buddies came looking for a $700 billion handout. No talk of a paycut for THEM, even though they were RESPONSIBLE for the majority of the banking mess to begin with. Why should the UAW take it on the chin? Only rich people are allowed to get richer? The average worker can make SOME money, but not too much??? Talk about elitism.

    And for all of you pushing for bankruptcy instead of a bridge loan, just wait until you're looking at 10+% unemployment rates in your state. If you people outside of Michigan seriously think that the end of the auto industry as we know it won't affect your way of living, you are in for a RUDE awakening. If the big 3 go down, it will take what's left of this economy down with it.

    I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks that a Republican gives a crap about the American worker is just an idiot.

    December 12, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. chris from stl

    I agree with Mr. Dingell. Sen. Shelby and Bob Corker are a disgrace. Saw Corker on media circuit dodging and ducking and making a fool of himself. What a self serving idiot! This our time to voice our opinion and let our reps hear from us ....

    …. this is not right …. THIS IS NOT, repeat NOT the time to turn our backs on auto industry …. This economy can't take any more job losses …. We got to keep them alive until this economy recovers …. Please write to to your reps … I just sent a letter to Sen. Shelby.

    H'ble Sen. Mr. Shelby:

    I'm writing to express my displeasure on your stance on the auto industry bridge loan proposal.

    The country is in a dire condition. Unemployment rates are at historic high. More and more businesses are shutting their doors on employees. Families are struggling to meet ends meet. I had never seen such a low and depressive situation in this country.

    Mr. Shelby, you and your colleagues had done a very unpatriotic act today in killing the auto loan package and by putting the livelihood of millions of blue collar workers of big 3 and a vast network of related companies. Stock futures for tomorrow are looking miserable. Asian markets are dropping already. Your (in)action has resulted in adding fuel to an already burning wild fire of faltering economy. I did not expect this kind of insensitive and reckless decision from a thoughtful person like you.

    Like me, millions of hapless Americans are distraught by the Senate's action today.

    I'm in no way related to the auto industry, except that I own a couple of cars. But, I can feel the pain and the helplessness that each and every blue collar worker is going through right now. And, hope you would too.

    I sincerely request that you reconsider your action and help the struggling big 3. I'm confident that when once the economy improves they will flourish too and repay the tax payers with interest. WE NEED THEM for our present and for this country's future.

    Thank you and God bless …

    Respectfully,

    December 12, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. Fritz

    There is plenty of blame to go around. We have demanded the biggest monsters on the road and the big 3 has given it to us, irrespective of fuel efficiency or durability. The auto industry has simply given us what we want so in essence we have the auto industry we deserve. I generally support unions but in this case, the unions have made demands in the past and the auto industry was pretty much in a position to give in to the demands. As a result, we have auto workers with benefits that are unparalleled in the industry. I also agree with Representative Dingell that maybe some Republicans are taking this opportunity to stick it to the UAW. Maybe the UAW has it coming, but really, there has got to be a better way to do it!

    December 12, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. Disgusted

    To get the facts about the auto industry you need to listen to public radio. NPR news. The only way to get the real news.

    If the auto industry goes under, it's going to be a trickle affect. Well it's good to see that at least the welfare system still exist, looks like alot of people are going to be on it soon.Thank you Republicans and everyone else who rejected the bailout.

    December 12, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  25. Most Americans Oppose Bailouts

    How did the comment "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." get approved? That is completely innapropriate.

    December 12, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
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