The air is crisp and cool in D.C. this morning, but the political atmosphere wafts miasmic as Congress returns to the Capitol to consider economic stimulus legislation. Maybe one last round of partisan recriminations will clear the air …
Judging by news reports, little in the way of stimulus will actually pass or be signed into law by President Bush. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) will announce his plan to loan money to the auto manufacturers, but in drawing from the previously passed TARP financial aid program, he’s run into opposition from the White House and prominent Republicans like Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.
Anyway…the headlines that caught our eye, including the Freep’s story that moved this morning:
Detroit Free Press, “White House refines position on auto aid“:
WASHINGTON — The White House stressed today that it supports help for the struggling auto industry, but believes it should not be taken from the $700-billion financial system rescue program.
As lawmakers were returning to a lame duck session to focus on the troubled industry, President George W. Bush’s chief spokeswoman issued a statement saying the administration “does not want U.S. automakers to fail.” She complained that reporting on the issue has involved “attempts to shorthand the administration’s position.”
Perino’s early morning statement also made clear, however, that the administration steadfastly opposes drawing funds from the bailout plan to help Detroit. She said the $25 million that Democrats favor taking from the rescue plan should come, instead, from a Department of Energy program previously approved to develop fuel-efficient vehicles.
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