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White House considering auto bailout

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) speaks during an interview on Capitol Hill after the U.S. Senate failed to come to an agreement on a bailout plan for U.S. automakers -- December 12, 2008

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Congress will not be bailing out the automakers.
Not this year. As you may've heard, the Senate shot down the $14 billion package last night.
But just a bit ago, the White House said it might step in. Here's Marketplace's Dan Grech.


Dan Grech: The Bush administration is considering tapping into the $700 billion bailout meant for Wall Street. The White House says it would be irresponsible to let the industry fail.

Meanwhile, the finger-pointing has begun on Capitol Hill. Democrats say the auto bailout failed because of Senate Republicans. Republicans wanted a guarantee that United Auto Workers would lower Big Three wages by the end of 2009. The UAW refused.

Peter Morici: Make no mistake, this morning there is no bailout because of the UAW, not because of those Republican Senators.

Peter Morici is an economist at the University of Maryland:

Morici: I'd like to know why a waitress making $12 an hour, $30,000 a year, in Indiana, should send her tax dollars to Washington to subsidize someone earning $80 an hour and who gets generous retirement and severance and benefits she will never see.

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger points his finger at Southern senators he calls anti-union and anti-Detroit. No word yet on when the White House will make a decision.

I'm Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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