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. Sergio Mendez

    The Republican want the APWU to make concession? Where was this big outcry when the banks got their money, and the ceo's got their bonuses. Do they want to use this crises to break the union's. Shame on them these are really job's that will get affected, unlike the banks that haven't use their money to help homeowners.

    December 12, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  2. Dick---somewhere



    December 12, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  3. Sue in MI

    Chi town,

    Obama has resigned his senate seat, and I believe Biden as well...I don't think they CAN vote.
    Let me tell you, if these three companies go under, it will not be a Midwest depression, it will affect all of you! If the automakers are gone, the suppliers, dealers, mechanics...all gone...and that will be felt nationwide. Not to mention the unemployment WE ALL will pay to them, the shelter that our communities will have to provide, support for their children...are you ready for an influx of GM workers into your state? I can't believe the heartlessness of you people.The numbers being thrown out there are insane..check out the Detroit Free Press for an article comparing union salaries/benefits to non-union foreign car salaries/benefits-you may be surprised. It's easy to blame the unions-but they are people, and Americans too, just like you. How come you weren't outraged about the bank bailouts -many more billions with no strings? Two wrongs don't make a right, but in this case, the government needs to step in with LOANS to keep the companies going. This is political, nothing else. And we will remember who sank this country long after this vote is history. This is a sorry day for America. The day we sold our souls in the name of what?

    December 12, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. Gary of El Centro, Ca old is Dingell anyway? His picture looks like a still from "Night of the Living Dead".

    December 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. jubei

    the problem is that the majority of people are not in favor of allowing the auto industry to go down. The poll numbers are always wrong on this stuff.
    No matter what the media polls push out, Most americans know that "that many people out of work will not be a good thing" especially if you want a recovery of the economy. I'd like to see the auto industry in america forced to make some changes, I'd like to see the unions which really made life difficult for the auto makers take the hit also. I dont want to see just the auto makers take a hit while feeding the unions, they need to be adjusted to real world standards, and if that means attrition of the big money earners through that restructuring or that the unions remain but take a huge pay cut, then so be it.

    December 12, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. yellow dog democrat you (us) living in the South – wages topic – guess what you are "republican states!) get it!~~~ you don't get a decent wage – and yes you beg for food stamps...duh~!! I'm for working folks getting a living wage (not insane amounts – I know folks who work in plants and make $15 + an hour – + they have health insurance) – there is nothing wrong with a living wage! The folks up North have to contend with higher costs for heating etc. living costs – wages are usually relative to the area you live. Some (a very few) are getting extremely rich off the backs of the working poor – If you don't correct that – you get revolutions! look at history and learn!

    December 12, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  7. Timus


    Spit the truth!!!

    It's more than a coincidence that the largest opponent is from a state where BMW and Kia have plants..........

    December 12, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. Nola

    It is so so very sad to be dumb – If the Big 3 goes under so does the non-american auto companies- What those Southern dummies does not understand about the auto business is they all intertwine – they all use parts from the same venders – the same starter switch on a GM is also on a Toyota. So if the 3 goes down then venders will go down – therefore Honda, Toyota, BMW and others will go down.

    It would pay for those Southern too take the time to read or make a visit to auto plants and discuss the whys and whats with the employees before they vote- So when this country hits a depression
    you folks from AL, SC, and Tenn can stand in line with the rest of us

    December 12, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  9. Paul

    As if it wasn't already apparent that Republicans are the enemy of the American worker.

    December 12, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  10. demo in PA

    It was the demo and clinton who didnt help the steel or bail it out
    it left it for dead we all lost everything
    what makes them so special?
    what happen to capitalism?
    are we now in the socialize job market
    this is nothing but socialism

    December 12, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  11. Bea

    Four Democrats voted 'nay': Baucus, Tester, Lincoln, and Reid.

    Four Democrats did not vote: Biden, Kennedy, Kerry, and Wyden.

    Why doesn't the media report this and ask these democrats why they don't care about middle America and union wage earners????

    December 12, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Lazy Lewis from Michigan

    Regardless of partisanship or whether you are from the North or South, have an automaker in your state or unions (which every state has). To vote no on the bailout does not make since. It has been widely acknowledged that the Big 3 provide 2.5 million direct and inderect jobs without the foreign transplants, and each of those jobs provide a minimum $5,000 to $15,000 in annual federal, state, and local tax revenue from the employees as well as a matching $5,000 to $15,000 in annual tax revenue from the employers. Which means that if we vote no on the bailout that would be anywhere from $12.5 billion to $37.5 billion in tax dollars lost per year. If the governement gives them the loan, which they must pay back with interest, the worst thing that would happen would be that the Big 3 breaks even. How many of you would pay $14 dollars today to maintain $37.50 per year. Seems like simple math to me.

    December 12, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. geraldine

    Morons – there aren't 51 Republican Senators, and there aren't 51 Southern senators. Therefore, 51 Republican Southern Senators did not sink this bill. But, catchy headline and story for Dingell.

    December 12, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  14. geraldine

    "lets b real" wrote: "When Republicans lose the majority"

    Seriously – that is rich. The Obama electorate has never been better defined.

    December 12, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. Larry Webster

    As a 40 year GM employee I am glad that these Republipukes blocked this loan. I for one would hate too have to have too know I owe my $36,000.00 a year ( Before Taxes) to these TRAITORS to this country. Just so everyone knows that is $490 a week. Yes GM will indeed survive and will with the concessions already given by the UAW be burying these Jap Rice Burning government owned plants.
    Nobody and I repeat nobody has ever made or ever will make $73.00 an hour. However the haters will never understand this so to hell with them. ( Isn't that what the haters told us?) So when the next national crisis comes and it will, run off and see if these Rice Burners will build your planes and tanks. As far as we are concerned just keep your Welcome to WalMart badges handy.

    December 12, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. PRObama

    Wow irratated in Fl. You are so right! I am a dem that feels soooooo bad for you southern republicans because those bad bad dems are messing up america. I didn't realize that dem and rep are more than just stupid labels being used by people like you to separate instead of unite. Oh by the way as a teacher I feel I am working hard for every dollar that I see and I KNOW that the workers up north that are reps and dems are doing the same. Have a heart and feel a little empathy for those that might lose their jobs because politicians from other parts of the country are not helping. It wasn't their fault that the CEOs don't know how to run a sustainable company.

    December 12, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. Concerned Democrat

    Then you should also blame the voters because we DON'T WANT ANOTHER FAILED bail out attempt like the AIG mess.

    December 12, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  18. chief

    Well, UAW screwed up, should have supported both parties equal, just paid for their one sided support

    December 12, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  19. SamHouston, Clarendon, Texas

    What everyone is NOT informed on is that the Southern States paid $BILLIONS OF BUCKS to foreign Car/Truck manufactures to relocate in the USA.
    Alabama gave Mercedes $253 BILLION plus $250 to $300 MILLION in FREE Land to open up shops in the State of Alabama.
    You know, with friends like that who in the HELL needs enemies.
    Ask Senators Shelby, Crocker and Crapo. There are 13 foreign Car/Truck operations in the USA with nearly all located in Southern States under GOP Control.
    Everyone of these operations is NON-UNION because the GOP is ANTI-UNION.
    When it's all said and done, we'll see a level playing field for all Car/Truck manufacturing with normalization of pay and benefits to all.

    December 12, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  20. James

    "What those Southern dummies does not understand about the auto business......" Take a moment to think about this quote. Thank you Nola!! think about your statement too and come back with better ideas.

    December 12, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  21. chief

    If congress really wants to help the auto industry, borrow a page from other counties, one raise our import taxes to equal import taxes on our products in their countries who import here or open their boarders and taxes to equal ours, two, require that ownership of foreign plants in USA be 51% USA citizen owned, only allow 49% of profits to allow to leave the USA, 51% has to remain here.

    December 12, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  22. Jessica from Michigan

    Sucks that the fate of my state is left up to some backward hicks.

    December 12, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  23. Old Artillery Man

    It has been said that the senators from the south are protecting those foreign auto companies in their states. That may have an element of truth but the Republican Party from all over the United States, the party of big business and the rich, are attempting to reach their ultimate goal. That is to break the unions. If they can push the American auto industry under they think that will break the union movement. There will be thousands and thousands of working people without a paycheck that will be willing to take anything to survive, and as been said, be thankful for it. The Republican wet dream comes true.

    December 12, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  24. GuyInVA

    Nola, nice try genius. "What those Southern dummies does not understand..." Priceless. Your post reminds me of a joke. A Southern woman and a Northern woman are attending the same function. The conversation goes like this:

    Southern woman: "Where are y'all from?"

    Northern woman: "I'm from a place where people don't end their sentences with prepositions."

    Southern woman. "Oh, excuse me. Where are y'all from, B#@%h?"

    December 12, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. Jessica from Michigan

    What if the Big 3 was headquartered in the deep south. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

    A Detroiter and UAW family member

    December 12, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
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