Report from America: Detroit, Michigan and a Civics Lesson

By October 13, 2006Report from America

Report from AmericaYes, that was snow in Detroit yesterday. Wow. Stepping off the plane on to the jetway when we landed and feeling that burst of frigid air made us all think we had overflown our destination and landed in Anchorage. To the matter at hand:

Spoke to the good folks from the Automotive PR Council. This meeting was organized by the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association and in attendance were many good manufacturers and NAM members. We gave ’em the old time religion on manufacturing.

Got a good question at the end, asking for an assessment of what the years of GOP rule in the Congress had accomplished.We mentioned the energy bill, the Class Action Fairness Act– which is having real impact — and of course the tax cuts, which (even though the WaPo ignores is) have led to real growth in this country and to a drastic reduction in the deficit.

However, we told the little-known and seldom reported fact, of which most in the room were unaware: That you need 60 votes to get anything done in the Senate. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (besieged now by a scandal involving a shady land deal) has frustrated the will of the majority through his use (or abuse) of the 60-vote rule. Death tax, energy, asbestos, and many other issues have had more than enough votes for passage but were one or two votes short of 60 never got to the floor. It’s a coward’s play, and is why more did not get accomplished, plain and simple. The House passed bills, the President was ready to sign ’em, but they never got through Harry Reid.

In any event, the group in Michigan was friendly and attentive. We promised to post our slides, so here they are. For the good folks who suffered through our remarks at the ANSI Conference on Wednesday, the slides — and the message — are the same.