Auto Industry Aid Deal Reached; Waxman Ousts Dingell

By November 20, 2008Briefly Legal, Energy

Big news day up on Capitol Hill.

Reuters, “Four U.S. senators reach bipartisan car aid deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Four U.S. senators have reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to assist the struggling automotive industry, the lawmakers announced in a joint statement on Thursday.

A news conference was planned for 2.30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. GMT) “to discuss the details of a bipartisan agreement on a bill to support the auto industry,” the statement said.

The lawmakers involved are Michigan Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, as well as Ohio Republican George Voinovich and Missouri Republican Christopher Bond.

Would guess it deals with the $25 million already appropriated for “green”purposes, making its use more flexible, which seems a reasonable compromise. (NAM President John Engler yesterday issued a statement encouraging passage of an aid package.)

Elsewhere, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) defeated Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) in the Democratic caucus election — secret ballot! — for chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee. The seniority system suffers another blow, and it’s safe to say that the committee will take a substantially more environmentalist and pro-regulatory turn under Waxman’s leadership. (Frank O’Donnell of Clean Air Watch is delighted.)

Funny, though, how little is being written about the implications for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Under Rep. Waxman’s chairmanship, the committee represented an important base for various “consumer” groups and environmental activists and trial lawyers, a foundation from which they could gin up attacks against the Bush Administration decisions and be certain to get sympathetic news coverage.

One assumes that oversight of the Obama Administration is not high on the priority list for the House Democrats, and the environmentalists, regulatory fans and trial lawyers are more than satisfied with their access to both the Legislative and Executive Branches. House Oversight could well be one of the sleepiest backwaters in Congress next session.

That’s the consequence of elections.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Since every so called expert from the Heritage Foundation got everything wrong on the war with Iraq, why are these people still considered experts? I watched a so called Hareitage Foundation expert argue the case to allow the American auto industry to go down, citing how his Toyota car was superior to the cars made in Detroit. This man continued with how “FREE TRADE” is so good for America. My question to this supposedly expert is this, if free trade is so good for America, why is it since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented American deficit has sky-rocketed, American wages has dropped to third world levels, and American unemployment are close to the levels of the stock market crash?

  • […] Auto Industry Aid Deal Reached; Waxman Ousts Dingell – […]

  • […] Below we noted that the election of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) to chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee would mean a new chairman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but that the oversight panel would probably turn into a pretty passive operation given the new political balance of power. […]

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