- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sic-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
- CIA admits $3 billion intelligence operation was a flop
- ‘127 Hours’ author Aron Lee Ralston, who amputated arm in canyon, arrested in Denver
- Men posing as cops break into home of former deputy
- Berkshire County eschews greenback for own currency — BerkShares
- Hagel warns Pakistani leaders of U.S. aid losses over drone-strike protests
- Florida authorities ban autistic boy from owning therapeutic chickens
Bush prods Congress for Big Three bailout
President Bush, acknowledging for the first time publicly that the economy has slipped into a recession, Friday urged Congress to pass a federal rescue plan in the next week to prevent Detroit’s Big Three from failing.
Mr. Bush and top congressional Democrats both seized on a grim new report on unemployment to try to stoke lukewarm support on Capitol Hill for a federal rescue plan for General Motors Inc., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC.
The White House and Capitol Hill were working Friday night on finding a way around the impasse they face over the best plan to bail out the companies.
“I am concerned about the viability of the auto companies,” Mr. Bush said. “Likewise, I am concerned about taxpayer money being provided to those companies that may not survive.”
Mr. Bush said it was “important that Congress act next week on this plan, and it is important to make sure that taxpayers’ money be paid back, if any is given to the companies.”
After days of lawmakers fearing that a deal could not be made, congressional leaders said they would call lawmakers back into session.
“I expect that legislation will be brought up for a vote in the House next week,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Republican, said in a statement late Friday.
Mr. Bush’s brief statement Friday was notable for his first use of the word “recession,” blaming the sharp downturn on “severe problems in our housing, credit and financial markets.” His use of the word came three days after the private National Bureau of Economic Research formally declared that the U.S. economy had fallen into a recession in December 2007.
Top executives from Detroit’s Big Three automakers received a marginally warmer reception Friday on the second day for their Capitol Hill lobbying blitz for a federal bailout, their case bolstered by the bleak economic news.
Both House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, and ranking Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama expressed concern that sending the auto executives home empty-handed would deliver a body blow to the larger economy.
“For us to do nothing, to allow bankruptcies and failures in one or three of these companies in the midst of the worst credit crisis and the unemployment situation that we’ve had in 70 years, would be a disaster,” Mr. Frank said.
Mr. Bachus agreed that the failure of a major U.S. car company now would be “detrimental” to the U.S. economy, but said he could only support “limited transitional assistance” to allow the beleaguered companies to return to solvency and profitability.
Mr. Frank, noting the political unpopularity of the bailout plan and the sharp differences over how to structure it, said at the conclusion of the nearly six-hour hearing, “If we’re lucky, we’ll come out with a bill that nobody likes,” arguing that such a bill is the only one with a chance of passage.
There remains widespread opposition on Capitol Hill to an industry bailout, with many saying the companies’ woes are tied not to the global credit crunch but to their own management, marketing, labor and cost mistakes.
The three U.S. auto companies are seeking a combined $34 billion in loans and credit lines from the federal government. GM and Chrysler say they need $11 billion within weeks just to avoid an immediate collapse.
About the Author
Raised in Northern Virginia, David R. Sands received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He worked as a reporter for several Washington-area business publications before joining The Washington Times.
At The Times, Mr. Sands has covered numerous beats, including international trade, banking, politics ...
- SANDS: Shark attack: Miami wins first U.S. Chess League title
- SANDS: Magnus Carlsen's future bright as the new king of chess
- Norway's Magnus Carlsen wins world chess title
- Magnus Carlsen on verge of world chess title with quick win over champion
- SANDS: Carlsen close to chess title as Anand cracks under endgame pressure
Latest Blog Entries
- GOP sees little outreach in health care debate
- Obama nears decision on Afghan strategy
- Obama: 'No faith justifies' Fort Hood attack
- Obama: No religious faith justifies Fort Hood shootings
- Democrats torn on Afghanistan, women's rights
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Let’s talk about everything, especially the absurdity of it all
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow