Talk about a bad sales pitch. Most of what General Motors (GM), Ford (F), and Chrysler accomplished this week was alienating lawmakers that had previously been willing to help them. The car-makers did, however, buy an additional 12 days to come up with a “plan.”
NYT: Democratic Congressional leaders on Thursday said that the executives of America’s foundering automakers had failed miserably in persuading Congress or the public that $25 billion in aid from the government would be well-spent and they gave industry leaders 12 days to come back with a plan showing otherwise.
The House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, and the Senator majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, at a joint news conference, said that any legislative proposal put to a vote this week would fail, and they leveled scathing criticism at the executives, including pointed barbs at the corporate titans for flying to Washington this week on private jets.
The comments indicated that when the auto executives wrapped up two days of hearings here, they had hurt rather than helped their cause. Lawmakers who just days ago had supported providing aid instead said that they were now unconvinced that taxpayer money could save the industry from disaster.
Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid called their news conference to pre-empt a gathering of senators from the states with the biggest stake in the auto industry who said that they had forged a bipartisan compromise to speed up access to $25 billion in loans for the automakers that have already been approved by Congress and signed by President Bush.
The Congressional leaders said that the House and the Senate would hold hearings during the week of Dec. 2 to consider the plans put forward by the industry. If the plans pass muster, they said, they were prepared to call Congress back in session to consider legislation the following week.
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