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Businessweek Archives

Auto Bailout: Making The Sausage

One of the criticisms that’s been leveled against Republican Senators opposing the loan legislation to keep General Motors and Chrysler from going bankrupt is that lawmakers like Alabama Senator Richard Shelby aren’t even listening to the arguments for it, or even reading the automaker’s filings before the hearings. It was clear to all that Shelby hadn’t read anything more than the brief summaries provided by the automakers because he asked questions that were plainly answered in the filings.

Yesterday, a gaggle of the GOP Senators held a press conference at about noon to express their opposition to a draft bill they admittedly hadn’t read yet. Huh? That’s right, Shelby said he hadn’t read the bill.

And Ohio Senator George Voinovich, a Republican who favors the bill, said that Senate Republicans had refused to participate in negotiations with the White House because of general opposition to an auto bailout.

Refused to particpate??????????

“The leadership did not want to participate because they felt whatever came out of the negotiations, they probably wouldn’t support,” Mr. Voinovich said.

It seems amazing to me that a group of Senators are willing to so casually flush the auto industry without participating in the debate when invited to do so. Isn’t that what their constituents pay them for?

What’s the old saying? You don’t want to see how the sausage is made?

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