Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today on potential aid to the auto industry:
“Democrats are determined to help auto workers and the auto industry. We know the auto industry is the heart of our nation’s manufacturing sector. We have worked hard this week to fashion a bipartisan consensus, and no one has worked harder than the Senators from Michigan.
“Unfortunately, the sad reality is that no one has come up with a plan that can pass the House and Senate and get signed by President Bush. And the main reason is what we have all witnessed in congressional hearings this week: The executives of the auto companies have not been able to convince the Congress or the American people that this government bailout will be its last. And they have not provided a plan that will ensure accountability from and viability for the industry.
“In light of this importance of this issue to all of us, we have decided the best way to proceed is to give the auto companies one more chance to make their case. We are requesting that they submit a plan to Congress and Chairmen Frank and Dodd no later than December 2. The Chairmen will review that plan and might hold hearings during the week of December 2.
“We are prepared to come back into session the week of December 8th to help the auto industry – but only if they present a responsible plan that gives us a realistic chance to get the needed votes.
“In the meantime, let me remind everyone once again that the Administration has all the authority and all the resources it needs to help these companies should they need it. If the White House wants to save Detroit, it has the power and the tools to do so.
“The key is accountability and viability. That is certainly not too much to ask.”