Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to reports that the White House might be open to using TARP money to help the reeling auto industry in the short term:
“We have said all along that the Treasury already has the authority and resources to protect millions of Americans who work in our nation’s struggling auto industry. With the stroke of a pen, Secretary Paulson can reverse what stubborn Republicans did last night – recklessly turning their backs on American families whose livelihoods depend on a healthy Detroit and risking further peril to our economy.
“I am encouraged that the White House seems to be considering using TARP for emergency bridge loans to the Big Three. I’m disappointed that Republicans Senators’ partisan refusal to compromise prevented us from achieving a sound solution to this problem last night, but appreciative of the Administration’s change of heart with respect to TARP. I’m confident I speak for the families of American workers around the country.
“The auto executives undeniably made many misguided decisions that brought us to this point, but our battered economy can hardly afford the risks of these companies going bankrupt, adding to rising unemployment and plunging us further into recession.”