March 8th, 2009
02:10 PM ET
11 years ago

Automakers should seek bankruptcy protection, say two GOP senators

No more auto bailout money without a long-term industry plan, Boehner said Sunday.

No more auto bailout money without a long-term industry plan, Boehner said Sunday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The House's Republican leader said Sunday he did not support giving General Motors any more federal funds until the company can show it will be able to survive in the long-term and pay back the government, as two of his GOP colleagues in the Senate said it was time for the automaker to declare bankruptcy.

House Minority Leader John Boehner told CBS that if GM did not meet those requirements, the government would just be "throwing good money after bad," but said he hoped the company would not have to seek bankruptcy protection.

"It's an important institution in our country. It impacts hundreds of thousands of jobs. But they have to do the serious work that they've avoided doing over the last 30 years if they're going to survive," he said on Face the Nation.

Sen. Richard Shelby, who opposed the idea of a domestic auto bailout, told ABC's This Week that GM, Chrysler and Ford should only receive further federal funds as part of Chapter 11 reorganization: "Short of that, the UAW will run those companies and run them into the ground," he said.

Sen. John McCain agreed, telling Fox News Sunday that bankruptcy would be good for GM. "I think the best thing that could probably happen to General Motors, in my view, is they go into Chapter 11, they reorganize, they renegotiate...union management contracts and come out of it a stronger, better, leaner and more competitive automotive industry," he said.

Both GM and Chrysler agreed to get concessions from the United Auto Workers by the end of this month in order to receive more than $17 billion in federal money, and have asked for additional funds that would more than double that amount. Ford has not received emergency government funding, but has reached its own agreement with the union, which will be voted on by members this week.

Filed under: John Boehner • John McCain • Richard Shelby
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Slate Sanchez

    Say, why are the networks so eager to put screaming wingnuts on the air? Shelby, Cantor, Boehner - they're all one version or another of the same, loud dipstick who sits at the end of the bar and irritates the hell out of everyone else. Can't ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. find someone sane from the Republican Party to represent their incoherent agenda on national television?

    March 8, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. Cor Van Beek

    It is very easy for the 2 heavy paid senators and all the people who's present and future pension does not depend on stocks and bonds from the auto companies to demand the auto companies to go bankrupt. When I came to this country , we left Europe, being disgusted with the egotistic socialistic thinking of the hell with our fellow men and God and government for us all.

    Little did I know after 50 years that Americans seem to love that lousy. system like Europe and England. With for instant under social PERFECT medicare for everybody, when you have to wait 3 or more years for a knee or hip replacement or any other major operation .
    You guys will deserve it. Maybe go all the way and ask Putin to become President

    March 8, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    Senator Shelby's animosity towards UAW workers should be a wake-up call for all card carrying union workers across the nation. The Republican Party do not share your values. Union workers need to wake up and stop voting against their self interests. Family values issues do not put food on your tables, feed your families, or put a roof over your heads. Republicans are for Big Business and trickle down Reaganomics. Just aske yourself: How come money isn't trickling down from the riich to you?

    March 8, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    If any auto maker goes belly up, the ripple is felt in a lot of places. How will any auto worker find ANY kind of job, see as how so many other companies have offshored their manufacturing jobs.

    Millions of job sekers can't possibly get work when there are NO jobs to be had, unless you swim to China, and they're not in good shape either.

    March 8, 2009 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  5. truthsayer

    CNN now the GOP soapbox.....where is your balanced reporting.

    March 8, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. Trish

    I am a Democrat & I voted for Obama but I really think these companies Chrysler or GM should NOT get 40 Billion more of our $$ withought RESTRUCTURING. !

    The time has come to get the same people out of GM who caused this mess in the first place.

    Last fall they said they only needed 13-20 Billion. Now this Spring it is GM's request alone for 30-40 Billion just to make it through 2009.

    If you are that incompetent to make an estimate last fall of what your really need in terms of money. Your too incompetent to be running a car company ! Time for you to go now! Good by Loser GM CEO.

    March 8, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. Bud in NC

    I have seen more sincere heads on an iceberg lettuce. You should know that nutritionists say that icedberg lettuce has little nutritional value. It is just water and low value vitamins. Kind of summarizes Boehner perfectly. An empty water sogged brain.

    March 8, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. grahame

    Oh Sure. and then what. These same Republicans would turn around and blame the democrats for allowing all the job loss it would create. This just shows the lying scum Boehner and the other Republicans really are. Talk about a hidden agenda. They will do and say anything to make the Democrats look bad. The country is in a financial mess you morons created, try helping instead of getting in the way.

    March 8, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. ruth

    I think it is past time for all Americans to grow up and quit whining. We have a new president and we should back him. You can't judge a persons work ethics until they have been in office a while. Obama has to undo what Bush did–eight years of screwing up.Stop whining and give him time. Every company I ever worked for gives anybody 90 days before they make a decision. Cry babies–grow up and stop acting like second graders.

    March 8, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  10. survivor

    This is probably much more complicated than it seems and the blame can be spread in all directions – just don't be surprised that this is just the tip of the iceberg – probably more "surprises" yet to come. We better stop the finger pointing and get ready to swallow some very bitter pills!

    March 8, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  11. Tayo

    You can smell partisanship in there statement.Was it not bohener that furiously dump the stimulus bill on the floor during house debate,calling it 'pork'.Its obvious repubs are anti people&economic taliban.Auto factory should be helped,just as banks and insurance giants.A useful suggestion to this manufacturers is to sell cheap cars to other continents(export ),take the loss&start afresh.

    March 9, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  12. Lady K

    They acted irresponsibly with their business plan and with the bailout money. If they don't want the rest of the money to have restrictions, then bankruptcy is their only option. But bankruptcy isn't always bad. Walt Disney filed for bankruptcy on his general store. And look at the result!

    March 9, 2009 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  13. Jim

    Chapter 11 bankruptcy may actually be a good idea. GM can shed itself of the UAW contracts and benefits system, and the bankruptcy Trustee can renogotiate union agreements that make more sense. GM will then stay in business as a leaner company. Suppliers will not go out of business. Sure, it's not perfect because the bankruptcy makes up its solutions as they go, but at least its a solution instead of what we have now.

    March 9, 2009 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
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