Act I of Kabuki Auto Bailout Theater is over. The House tonight passed the UAW bailout bill 237-170, with 1 voting present and 26 not voting.
Here are the Republicans in the House who voted yes — 32 pro-bailout, anti-free market Republicans. Remember them:
Rep. McCotter voted for massive government intervention to prop up failing industries. Hey, Rep. McCotter: How about revisiting all your high-minded rhetoric about returning to first principles. Ask yourself your own question: “Why is there a Republican Party?”
Republican Joe Barton’s rationale for supporting the bailout? Well, golly gee, we gave so many other industries massive bailouts, it wouldn’t be fair to say no to the carmakers. Crikey:
“It would be an absolute shame to force those companies into bankruptcy,” he said. “If we can give the AIG’s and the Wells Fargos and the JPMorgans of the world — each of those individual companies — between $40 and $45 billion,” then certainly the carmakers deserve a $15 billion bridge loan.
Here are the nays — 150 of them Republicans, 20 Democrats (full roll call vote is here):
Lungren, Daniel E.
A $14 billion rescue package for the nation’s imperiled auto industry sped to approval in the U.S. House Wednesday night, but the emergency bailout was still in jeopardy from Republicans who were setting out roadblocks in the Senate.
Democrats and the Bush White House hoped for a Senate vote as early as Thursday and enactment by week’s end. They argued that the loans authorized by the measure were needed to stave off disaster for the auto industry — and a crushing further blow to the reeling national economy.
The legislation, approved 237-170 by the House, would provide money within days to cash-starved General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC. Ford Motor Co., which has said it has enough to stay afloat, would also be eligible for federal aid.
Republicans were preparing a strong fight against the aid plan in the Senate, not only taking on the Democrats but standing in open revolt against their party’s lame-duck president on the measure.
The Republicans want to force the companies into bankruptcy or mandate hefty concessions from autoworkers and creditors as a condition of any federal aid. They also oppose an environmental mandate that House Democrats insisted on including in the measure.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it represented “tough love” for U.S. auto companies, and “giving a chance — this one more chance — to this great industry.”
The White House, struggling to sell the package to congressional Republicans, said earlier that a carmaker bankruptcy could be fatal to the auto industry and have a devastating impact on workers, families and the economy.
“We believe the legislation developed in recent days is an effective and responsible approach to deal with troubled automakers and ensure the necessary restructuring occurs,” said Dana Perino, the White House press secretary.
Stop the bailout: Yes, we can!