I asked Iowa's congressional delegation its feelings on the automaker bailout. Here are the responses, well, at least the candidates who gave me a response.
“The failure of the American automobile industry could jeopardize millions of jobs here at home and have a devastating impact on our already struggling economy. I support efforts to provide immediate, targeted assistance to prevent job loss, secure the pensions of long time workers, and require a restructuring of automobile companies. As global demand for more fuel efficient vehicles continues to grow, it is critical automobile manufacturers also use this opportunity to become the leaders in the development and production of these vehicles so we can create green manufacturing jobs here at home.”
“The failure of the auto industry in the country would have a tremendous ripple effect throughout the economy. There’s no question that reforms need to occur in the industry. However, with the unemployment rate now hovering around 6.5%, I don’t think we want to idly sit by. If the bailout allows for restructuring, reform and transparency, I would give it serious consideration.”
Congressman Braley is open to an auto loan plan, provided the legislation contains strict oversight provisions to ensure that taxpayer money is being spent wisely. As you saw in his letter to leadership yesterday, Rep. Braley wants to make sure that oversight written into the last bailout package is followed through with. Likewise on an auto package.
Congressman Latham is reserving judgment until there is actual legislation to review.
“We need to stop spending billions upon billions in taxpayer money to bail out those who’ve made poor business decisions. As if the $700 billion bailout for the financial industry wasn’t bad enough, now Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid are going to completely disregard what few restrictions were placed upon the use of that money, bow to the demands of the auto unions, and send a big fat check to Detroit. We have several other automakers that have set up production lines here in the US. Automakers outside the Big Three make money at their US plants because they will not agree under threat of strike to gold plated benefits packages that would be destined to break their company. In the end, this bailout will only lead us down the path of having to entertain an endless number of requests from major players in every other sector of the American economy for similar aid.”