20081210 pm auto 23
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) speaks at a press conference about Republican lawmakers' opposition to the auto bailout. Others, from left, are Senators John Ensign (R-NV), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Richard Shelby (R-AL) and David Vitter (R-LA). - 


KAI RYSSDAL: Plans to rescue Detroit keep limping along. A number of Senate Republicans say they're going to filibuster a bailout bill that's been hammered out between congressional Democrats and the White House.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer explains.

NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Republican Senator Richard Shelby today made no secret of his opposition to a congressional bailout of U.S. automakers.

RICHARD SHELBY: This is only delaying their funeral.

Lots of lawmakers are opposed to the bailout on ideological grounds. Michelle Krebs of Edmunds' AutoObserver.com says regional politics are also at play. Especially for Shelby. His home state of Alabama has spent millions convincing foreign automakers to build plants there.

MICHELLE KREBS: I think he's protecting his home base of automakers, just as our Michigan delegation are protecting theirs.

Shelby denies that.

Peter Hastings is an auto industry analyst with Morgan Keegan. He points out that Alabama's tax breaks are not unusual. Domestic automakers get them, too.

PETER HASTINGS: Pretty much every time a major company decides to go and look for a new facility, that's part of the sweetener.

Hastings says the bailout wouldn't give domestic automakers an unfair advantage because it's aimed at helping the entire U.S. economy, not just Detroit.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.