Senator Bond says the Senate’s failure to enact a bailout plan for the Big Three automakers leaves the issue in the lap of Bush Administration. He’s urging the President Bush to use money left in the Troubled Asset Relief Program to provide emergency loans to the automakers, with requirements they reform their workforce costs and operations.
In a written statement, Bond, who voted to extend debate said, "I am not willing to turn my back on Missouri workers and break the manufacturing backbone of America."
Bond teamed with senators from other auto producing states just before Thanksgiving in an effort to forge a compromise measure. The planned supported by both Republican and Democratic senators would have allowed General Motors, Ford and Chrysler to tap billions already set aside to help the three produce more environmentally friendly vehicles for so-called bridge loans to get through the current credit squeeze. They money would have had to be paid back. Congress left for Thanksgiving break without considering the bill.
TARP was devised to infuse the financial sector with enough cash to get the credit markets working again. Billions have been funneled into various financial firms to keep them from collapsing, which federal officials feared would have a resoundingly negative ripple effect. Bond says Congress gave the White House authority to use the money to save the auto industry when it approved the $700 billion financial rescue package. He says the White House can insist on fundamental changes in the industry before extending the credit under TARP.