A Ford employee works on the assembly line in Dearborn, Michigan. Lawmakers Wednesday battled over a 15-billion-dollar bailout for the stalled US auto industry amid lingering Republican doubts that the jumpstart is more than a quick fix
Prospects for an automaker bailout bill passing the United States Senate dimmed this afternoon but to be revived at the last minute tonight.
Prospects for an auto industry bailout revived in the U.S. Senate on Thursday as surprise negotiations on a compromise moved forward and a vote was possible later in the day.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor that the deal, if struck, “would overwhelmingly pass” the chamber that just hours ago seemed resigned to sending the automakers back to Detroit empty-handed.
The scenario at the core of the possible compromise was proposed by Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, who would grant loans under stricter conditions than favored by Democrats and the White House.
“Good faith negotiations are going on as we speak,” Reid said.
General Motors Corp and Chrysler LLC are seeking billions of dollars in immediate aid, while Ford Motor Co wants a hefty line of credit.
GM and Chrysler have warned they could collapse without billions in immediate federal intervention. Auto sales have plummeted amid a global economic slowdown.
The House of Representatives passed its version of the legislation on Wednesday. But the Republican minority in the Senate appeared to have more than enough votes to stop the White House-backed legislation with a procedural roadblock.
In the meantime, Drudge is screaming the General Motors has retained bankruptcy counsel.
General Motors Corp hired outside advisers to weigh bankruptcy, but the board determined that a filing was not an option for the struggling automaker, a GM spokesman said on Thursday.
The hiring of outside legal and restructuring advisers by GM was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper said GM had retained Harvey Miller, a bankruptcy specialist at the New York law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges LP.
The newspaper also said GM retained restructuring advisers, including William Repko of Evercore Partners, Arthur Newman of Blackstone Group and Jay Alix.
Last minute, late night, BS, and a sell-out compromise is being worked out in the Senate as Flap writes this post.
Watch it now and hope the GOP does not sell out its principles again.
Senator John Ensign is on the floor now (this was a tape). Their currently is a Senate Quorum call while negotiations continue in each caucus.
6:30 PM Pacific:
Officials say Republican and Democratic senators are struggling to resolve one last dispute standing in the way of an emergency bailout for U.S. automakers. The top Senate Democrat says the compromise could see a vote tonight. Majority Leader Harry Reid says the lead Republican architect of the deal is briefing colleagues on its outlines, and Democrats were prepared to move forward on it quickly.
His announcement came after hours of marathon talks at the Capitol between labor, lawmakers and the auto industry to salvage the Big Three rescue. The talks centered on wage and benefit concessions from the United Auto Workers union as well as debt restructuring by General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
It wasn’t immediately clear what was standing in the way of a final agreement.
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