• Dec 8th 2008 at 7:27PM
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The House of Representatives and the Senate will discuss and likely vote on the Automaker Bailout Bill (we know, it's not technically a bailout, but rather loans that will be paid back) tomorrow, and the first discussion draft of the bill has hit the internet. The discussion bill is 31 pages long, and like you we're not about to spend our Monday evening reading through the whole thing. Thankfully, some real auto journalists over at The Detroit Free Press have done that for us.

They report that the bill contains provisions for a federal official, or "Car Czar" as the position will no doubt be referred to, who would oversee distribution of the funds and have authority to yank them back if an automaker is deemed to be using them ineffectively. The bill also requires automakers to submit another restructuring plan by March 31, 2009, after which the Car Czar could use his or her powers to reopen negotiations with the company, its creditors and the United Auto Workers union.

Part of the bill also stipulates that if the Detroit 3 accepts these loans, they must promise to stop pursuing litigation aimed at striking down California's right to set its own emissions standards and other states' right to adopt them. The California Air Resources Board has created emissions standards the are generally more strict than federal standards, and so far 17 states have chosen to adopt the Golden State's measures.

Detroit is backed into a corner, however, and will likely accept any conditions that Congress attaches to the bailout bill. With that in mind, Democratic leaders in Congress and the White House say that approval for the bill is likely, which would see around $15 billion in federal loans granted to the Detroit 3 as soon as December 15th.

[Source: CNN Money, The Detroit Free Press]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wouldn't GM be better off shedding retirement benefits in bankruptcy?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Don't GM retirees already get Medicare? Don't they already receive Social Security? Just reduce their pensions by 50%.. they should've been saving for their retirement anyways..
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sure ,unless your a retiree who spent a lifetime working for the pension you were promised .
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's like blaming seniors for the problems with social security
      • 6 Years Ago
      This "loan" will be just like that "loan" you give your deadbeat brother who can't hold a job. Call it a "loan" if it makes him (and you) feel better, but you can be 100% certain you're never going to get that money back.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Don't be so sure on that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ugh. Allowing CARB or any other state to set their own standards is unbelievably stupid. California needs to either reduce it's population or mandate a large percentage of it's population take mass transit. Increasing auto regulations won't help their air quality problem.

      Also doesn't it seem dumb to be increasing regulations and the cost of doing business on an industry that needs relief? Oh wait...I forgot...we're dealing with the gov't here...logic doesn't apply.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dumb? when the majority of the car buying public resides in those 17 states? When the largest car market in the country, in the current economy even, is the state who's setting the standards? Dumb when international car makers have no issues doing it, even going so far as to design incredibly complex exhaust systems just to sell their cars in California? Nope. Dumb is continuing to tow the fantasy that California and it's 16 friends aren't where most of the purchasing in this country. If a super majority of car buyers lived outside those 17 states then we wouldn't be having this conversation as sales wouldn't depend on them. The majority do. End of pointless whining.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Zamafir - you ignore the fact that cars aren't the problem. Continuing to tighten the standards won't produce any gains. Tree huggers continue their vendetta against the auto industry because it's an easy target...not because it makes sense.

        Interestingly enough...tailpipe emissions are often cleaner than the air going into the engine(in California anyway). Sorry (not really) if that messes with your cars are evil paradigm.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They're taking the money from the funds that are supposed to fund cleaner cars so it's logical they try to force some conditions into this bill as a result.

        Yes I agree they are taking the easier target by forcing the automakers to make even cleaner cars, when they can improve air quality with simple things like geotracker mentioned like timing traffic lights properly and removing unneeded carpool lanes. Yet on the other hand please don't give the BS about mandating public transit b/c you know everyone will oppose and you obviously will be among the first to oppose it. Cars are still a significant local pollution problem in California even given the improvements we have made thus far. Ultimately every automaker who wants to sell cars in California will have to adhere to the standards so it's not anti-competitive either.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree! I think they should start by kicking out all illegals...That right there will save enough money to bail out the Big 3 every year without an additional cost to the taxpayers ever.... :)
      • 6 Years Ago

      I add my questions on US bailout plan for auto mobile industries.

      1. if US govt gives bailout money to automobile industries, does it increase consumer's purchase power to purchase a car?
      2. if US govt gives bailout money to automobile industries, do the banks give loans as rapid as they were giving previously to buy a car?
      3. if the cosumer doesnt buy a car and banks dont offer loans then how will these automobile industries going to earn and pay back the bailout money to govt?
      4. if automobile industries dont earn then how long these companies use this bailout money to survivie?
      5. at the end this tex payers's money is going to be fired in the furnace of fix expenses of these companies if they run the same strength of employees and over heads. And if they decrease the strength of employees to decrease their over heads then why they are demanding for a bailout?
      6. is govt playing with the money of tax payers in the form of bailout?
      7. Govt should give relaxation in immigration rules so that many more people may come to US, thus the demand of land and houses may increase and re-gain their lost value. why govt is not paying attention to the area from where the problem has arisen?
      8. Most important question: how will these companies return this money? have they shown concrete steps to achieve the targets? or their future steps to return the loan are on expectations and hopes on US economy which is toppling rapidly day by day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      And everyone thought the banking industry didn't have money, just look at what they have accomplished, they bought every person remotely connected with politics in DC, including maybe the future president, they got a $700 billion checkbook from us, granted that was free, they have virtually no supervision for this money, they even got foreign (Arab) investment, oh well foreign relations already sucked, they have what appears to anyway to have bought the media and now they somehow have diverted all financial attention to the car industry that they have done something horrible by only building big trucks and suv's that we only wanted to buy to improve there companies bottom line and now need a few bucks because the banks aren't lending, imagine that, with all the money we have given them and they aren't lending it, what are or did they do with it, guess we will never know since nobody is watching them. Sad how when greed sneaks in and takes your future and blames it on everyone else.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A BILL

      A $15 BILLION BILL
      • 6 Years Ago
      It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the Ford Family outright rejected the loan because of the terms.

      The fact is that Ford can survive without it anyways.
        • 6 Years Ago

        You're trying to talk about logic my friend.

        I'm talking about the Ford Family.
        • 6 Years Ago
        As much as i would love to see that, it puts Ford in a very dangerous position. Ford has stated that they will need the money shoud either of the other two go down. If i was Ford i wouldn't be comfortable putting my eggs in that basket.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Alero! *snicker*
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mr Lutz If you read this please reject this offer. i realize that Gm May not go on but in fact you would be better served to take chapter 11. If you allow this to happen the goverment will control GM for ever. You are asking for a loan and they give you a Car czar. I do not know what the real details are but the fact remains if GM can shrink to a more manageable size then quality goes up cost go down and unions go bye bye. Chapter 11 is the right thing so the company can get out of where it stands now. Your right to litagate over any issue can not be signed away. Thease are trying times for country and GM. Shrink to caddy abd chevy and dont share platt forms. Be like Honda and Acura.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Reigniting the California "Carbon" lawsuit against the automakers would be a disaster (as would local fuel economy standards)


      The articles of the liberal Greeniac faith are opposed to most of the bedrock principles of automotive choice.

      "Nobody needs a car with more than 200 horsepower."

      "Almost nobody needs a truck or an SUV."

      "V8s are irresponsible gross polluters."

      "We MUST double fuel economy standards for the good of the country."

      "We need fewer highways and more public transportation."

      "We need to keep fuel prices high to break our 'addiction' to oil and cut carbon emissions"

      "We need to 'recycle' (scrap) old cars and 'encourage' ownership of new 'green' vehicles."

      Truth With Speedzzter had previously predicted the end of the Second Supercar Era.

      But the Detroit 3 loan legislation is shaping up as not as a gradual return to the automotive dark ages of the 1970s (this time in even more regulated government-designed micro-motorcars), but a sudden cataclysm that will wipe out a good portion of OEM motorsports.

      Most certainly, ordinary working Joes need not apply.

      Of course, a few rich guys will still trade impossibly expensive rides at Barrett-Jackson. But what, if anything, that's left of genuine high performance will be so limited in supply and so expensive that ordinary high performance auto enthusiasts would have to live in their cars to afford one.
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