Dodd Stresses Importance of Auto Bailout, Has Message for GM

New York (HedgeCo.Net) – Saying that GM is in the “worst shape,” Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd told the struggling automaker that they’ve got to consider new leadership if they want to receive federal aid.  The comments prompted many to believe he was referring in fact to GM CEO Richard Wagoner, whom Dodd said “has to move on,” on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

President-elect Barack Obama didn’t exactly reaffirm Dodd’s position, but said at a Chicago press conference that if management “doesn’t understand the urgency of the situation and is not willing to make the tough choices and adapt to these new circumstances, then they should go.”

Congress will reconvene this week to discuss the proposed $15 billion rescue plan that would hopefully salvage both General Motors and Chrysler.  Although they are closer to finalizing a plan of action for the troubled companies, they are still met with reluctance from certain individuals. 

Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, who has been outspoken about his disdain for any auto rescue plan, is supporting a filibuster that would put a halt to the legislation and instead prompt a lengthy debate about the issue.

Dodd, however, realizes it is a time-sensitive issue and focused during the interview on the fact that the auto industry could completely sink in the next few weeks if nothing is done.  “Even if people don’t like this idea, none of us want to wake up January 1st and discover we don’t have an industry to save.”  According to the Connecticut Senator, 1 out of every 10 jobs in the U.S. is either directly or indirectly related to the American auto industry.

Julie Scuderi
Senior Editor for HedgeCo.Net

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