Western Iowa Congressman Steve King says the federal government should not extend loans to the auto industry. Executives from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler were in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, asking for federal help.
"This is a bailout of the auto manufacturers and the unions and (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi has said that she will make sure that management and the owners of the big three auto manufacturers do not get a negotiating advantage over the unions. Well, because they haven’t had that advantage is why they have the financial problem today with wages that are high and benefits that are high and they aren’t able to competitive, so at some point there’s got to be a line drawn," King says. "I will draw the line, ‘No,’ on this bailout."
King was among the Republicans who opposed the Wall Street relief package that cleared Congress in late September and he says pumping putting government dollars into Detroit isn’t wise either. "It really begs the question: Who would we say, ‘no,’ to and when would we ever stop," King says, "so I’ll be a ‘no’ on this bailout."
According to King, most Republicans in Congress will draw a "bright line" on this. "There’s a free market system and there has to be an opportunity to fail. There is Chapter 11 bankruptcy and I would like to see the auto manufacturers and the unions come to Congress with the kind of proposal that they might be making to a judge," King says. "Unless the threat of that exists, they are not going to come to the table to resolve their problems and make reform."
The C-E-O of General Motors told members of Congress Tuesday that the auto industry’s problems weren’t caused by mismanagement, but by the global financial crisis.