Dodd Encourages Bush Auto Efforts

Posted December 12, 2008 at 3:22pm

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said Friday that the White House’s tentative plans to prevent auto companies from going into bankruptcy is positive news — and he indicated it would help improve the chances of getting more money from Congress to rescue troubled financial companies.

“Just walking away from this and hoping the worst will not happen is unacceptable,” Dodd said at a press conference. He said he hoped the Bush administration would make an announcement Friday or this weekend that it will use funding from the financial industry rescue package to aid struggling carmakers who warn that they could go out of business by the beginning of the year.

But Dodd said the Bush White House’s refusal so far to use the financial rescue money to bailout the auto industry, along with what he believes is mismanagement of other portions of the fund, has made him less likely to support the release of $350 billion more dollars to aid the financial markets.

Dodd said that he would use Congress’ discretion to call for a vote of disapproval of the second installment of $350 billion and that he expected he would be joined by a majority of the Senate in preventing its release to the Bush administration. He also said the Obama administration would likely be questioned about its stewardship of the funds, if and when it asks for the money.