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Bachmann Opposes Auto Industry Bailout

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Washington, D.C., Dec 11 -

Last night, U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-6), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, made the following statement in opposition to the proposed $15-billion auto industry bailout:

"Today Congress is about to embark upon another corporate bailout - this time for Detroit's Big Three automakers - without any assurances to the taxpayers that it won't be back for more.  In fact, from all news reports, while this bailout comes with a starting price of $15 billion, Congressional leadership negotiating the deal fully expects that this is just the beginning and that taxpayers will be hit up again in the new year.

"Though the already-passed $700-billion Wall Street bailout has had little to no success, Congress is about to go down this same road again.  And, it appears that it does so with few qualms about the impact of its actions on hard-pressed taxpayers.

"We hear promises of strict oversight and accountability measures - but who does the Congress think it's kidding? 

"Already two nonpartisan, independent panels have lambasted Treasury for its execution of the current bailout scheme. The Government Accountability Office's (GAO) scathing report about the federal government's poor oversight says it all in the title: Additional Actions Needed to Better Ensure Integrity, Accountability, and Transparency. 

"Why should taxpayers expect the government's oversight of this bailout be any different?

"Unfortunately, the Democrat-led Congress has chosen to blindly oblige Big Labor at every turn, regardless of whether it's in the best interest of taxpayers. 

"They have dismissed consideration of alternative proposals that could truly restructure these companies over the long-term and help them rein in costs. 

"They don't want Ford, GM and Chrysler to reorganize under the protection of the bankruptcy courts, even if it would save them without a taxpayer bailout, because it means that they would actually make structural changes and renegotiate labor contracts without the threat of outside lawsuits.

"The Democrats have already spent more than a trillion dollars in bailouts this year - why not a few billion more? 

"Madame Speaker, the hardworking men and women in America did not sign up for this. 

"They did not turn over their hard-earned money to Uncle Sam just so Congress can dole it out to unaccountable companies that made poor business decisions for years. 

"Throwing taxpayer money at Detroit's spiraling problems will not fix their long-term management and productivity troubles and they will only be back for more time and time again.

"Congress should not look the other way and put the taxpayers, and their children and grandchildren, on the hook for billions more in unaccountable spending."

Bachmann is supporting an alternative to help the American automakers stabilize their industry while they execute long-term restructuring and reorganization.  That alternative would set hard benchmarks for reducing their debt and renegotiating money-pit deals with Big Labor and would set up the financial assistance as interim insurance instead of a taxpayer-financed bailout.  Unlike the proposal Congressional leadership has brought before Congress, which essentially nationalizes the auto industry, this alternative would maintain an outlet for private investment in the American automakers.                                        

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