Auto Makers Leave Congress Empty-Handed

Lawmakers deadlocked on a plan to bail out the Big Three automakers, leaving General Motors facing the prospect it could run out of cash before a new Congress can come to the rescue next year.

From Bloomberg:

Democratic congressional leaders disagreed with Republicans and President George W. Bush’s administration over how to provide $25 billion in aid to GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC. Only two days remain in a lame-duck session for lawmakers to resurrect a compromise, though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today Congress might return in December to complete its work.

“We are in a situation where we don’t know procedurally what we are going to be able to accomplish today,” the Nevada Democrat said on the Senate floor.

Reid earlier suggested the situation was dire and refused to set aside time today to debate a compromise proposed by Senator Kit Bond, a Missouri Republican. Reid said Bond’s plan hasn’t been put in writing and the House of Representatives is about to adjourn.

Bond and fellow Republican George Voinovich of Ohio insisted they weren’t giving up on their proposal to speed up and broaden access to $25 billion already approved for fuel-efficient vehicle development that was a compromise.

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