Political Deadlock May Delay Automaker Aid Until 2009

Hopes for an economic stimulus package aimed at the auto industry may be on hold for a while as partisan disagreements halt any chance for help to come to America’s suffering carmakers.

While Democrats in Congress are pushing for more aid to the auto industry, several congressional Republicans, as well as the Bush administration, are opposed to giving any further help. “The financial situation facing the Big Three is not a national problem, but their problem,” said Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee.
“We cannot do it without the support of Senate Republicans, who I hope will join us to pass a bill that saves the jobs and protects the livelihoods of millions of hard-working Americans,” said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
This all may change, however, come January when the political landscape shifts due to President-Elect Barack Obama taking office along with several new Democratic Senators. Obama has said he intends on aiding the U.S. automotive industry, and may even appoint a so-called “car-czar” to oversee its restoration.
Source: Wall Street Journal