Filibuster Forthcoming?

December 9, 2008

One State.  Two Opinions. Nevada, a return to the Wild Wild West?

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has decided to delay a “Big Three” bailout plan vote until the weekend.  At the same time, John Ensign (R-NV)  and Senator Shelby (R-AL) are beginning to garner a lot of support for a filibuster to block the vote.

MM reports:

Democratic leaders toned down their prediction that Congress would approve a $15 billion automaker bailout within 48 hours, as Republican objections proved difficult to resolve.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate is unlikely to vote on the measure tonight and warned that lawmakers may have to stay in session over the weekend if objections are raised to voting earlier. “Everyone should understand we’re going to work until we complete this,” Reid said.

Congressional action is likely the only chance for the aid General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC say they need to survive. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke ruled out central bank lending to automakers and suggested options including bankruptcy reorganization.

GM and Chrysler say they need at least $14 billion in combined aid to keep from running out of cash by early next year. Ford Motor Co., which would be eligible to apply for the loans, said again yesterday it doesn’t expect to. GM and Ford shares fell.

Some Democrats said support for the bailout in is in question. “It’s not a sure thing by any means,” said Michigan Representative Sander Levin, a Democrat.

John Ensign correctly contends that further bailout will only hurt the American taxpayer.  A bailout will also lessen the probability for any long term growth or prosperity in the American Auto Industry.  The Las Vegas Review Journal reports:

Sen. John Ensign said this morning he may try to block the Senate from passing an auto industry bailout, criticizing the plan as a further move toward “socializing” the economy.

“We’re looking at that very hard, because I have some serious, serious problems with this package as it currently stands,” Ensign said. “Unless we see some serious give by the other side, I think that not only myself but several of us will be looking at possibly blocking this package.”

Ensign commented during an interview broadcast on CNBC, as Congress returned this week to consider an $15 billion bailout bill negotiated between Democrats and the White House. He complained the Republicans in Congress were left out of the talks.

The Nevada Republican said the assistance to the automakers amounts to “the government picking the winners and losers instead of the market.”

“We’re just going down further and further and further towards socializing our economy,” he said.

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has issued the following statement regarding Ensign and Shelby’s filibuster:

“Ensign is exactly right. This bailout will hurt taxpayers, it won’t help the economy, and it will prevent these car companies from becoming competitive. The only way for the automakers to survive is a complete restructuring that allows them to break free from the stranglehold of union bosses. If Senator Ensign insists on debate on this legislation, I’ll fully support him.”

Let Shelby know you support his idea for the filibuster, and maybe more will follow.

Richard Shelby’s office: 202-224-5744

Mitch McConnell’s office: 202-224-2541



  1. I guess my real question to them is…how do you bail out Wall Street? No stipulations. No set amount. And then come back and give the Big Three such a hard time?

    Now I’m not saying I think the Wall Street bailout was handled well at all…and I’m not saying just fork over the $$ for the Big Three.

    What I am saying is why the double standard?!? Why are we so hesitant to save blue collar jobs, but insurance and financial execs get a free pass?

  2. Financial markets are the grease that lubricates the economy. If financial markets lock up and there is no liquidity of funds for businesses to tap to conduct normal activities there will be serious impacts throughout the entire economy. For example, look at the factory in Chicago that is in the news because they abruptly shut their doors when BofA pulled their financing. This was a major problem in the Great Depression. I don’t like bailing them out, but I understand the necessity.
    The auto companies on the other hand do not hold that kind of a place in the economy. And we need to draw the line somewhere or every poorly managed business, state, and city in the country will be lined up for handouts and the feds will be running everything. They will not hand out this kind of money without lots of strings. And the longer term consequences on the national economy of all this is likely to be very negative. Where are these trillions of dollars coming from? I shudder to contemplate. Better to suffer some pain now rather than much worse problems in a few years.

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