"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is scheduled to introduce legislation today that would provide $25 billion from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout package for the struggling automakers," David Shepardson and Christine Tierney report for The Detroit News. "But the assistance will be accompanied by many conditions, including limits on executive compensation and bonuses, a ban on using the money for dividend payments, and the creation of an oversight board. Democrats may have to add more and tougher terms to secure passage of the bill, including possible management changes. Many Republican lawmakers are balking at extending any aid on the grounds that the auto industry bears some responsibility for its troubles."
That's a whole bunch of Republicans they'll need to bring on board: "The impasse, a fitting end for the 110th Congress given the stalemates that marked the past two years, makes it quite likely that any separate bailout for the auto industry will have to wait until after President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in on Jan. 20," The New York Times' Carl Hulse reports. "The odds are also against a broader measure sought by Democrats in an effort to help the economy. The legislation with the best chance of clearing Congress this week is a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits for those who have exhausted their aid in states with high unemployment."
Said Obama, on "60 Minutes": "My hope is that over the course of the next week, between the White House and Congress, the discussions are shaped around providing assistance, but making sure that that assistance is conditioned on labor, management, suppliers, lenders -- all the stakeholders coming together with a plan."
The White House position, from press secretary Dana Perino Monday morning: "We believe this assistance should come from the program created by Congress that was specifically designed to assist the automakers -- from the $25 billion Department of Energy loan program. We believe this is the appropriate funding to use for automakers rather than seeking an ADDITIONAL $25 billion from the TARP program. We should not seek ADDITIONAL funding while $25 billion sits available in a program that was designed for automakers."
McClatchy's David Lightman: "The easier step for Democrats would be to wait two months until Barack Obama is inaugurated and the 111th Congress convenes with much larger party majorities. But economic indicators are growing more dismal by the day, concerns about last month's $700 billion financial rescue plan keep surfacing and automakers warn they're in desperate need of cash."
Behind the politics: "Senators from Southern states with factories owned by Asian and European car manufacturers oppose a bailout of U.S. automakers, saying the industry can thrive without General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC," Bloomberg's Alison Fitzgerald and Jonathan D. Salant report.
A boost from Arnold: "I think that there's a way of reducing all of that, make them more fiscally responsible. And then, if they have to act together and have renegotiated those deals, then yes, you can go in there and help them out financially," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif., told ABC's George Stephanopoulos Sunday on "This Week."