The First Draft: Tuesday, Nov. 18

November 18, 2008

Chief executives of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, along with the head of the United Autoworkers union, will testify to Congress today about the need for a bailout of their struggling companies.

“It’s going to be really neat to be able to explain and talk about the progress we’ve made,” Ford CEO Alan Mullaly said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
    
But Mullaly and his fellow auto-industry bigwigs could be in for a bumpy ride. Detroit’s clout on Capitol Hill has diminished in recent years as automakers have closed plants across the country and lobbied heavily against increases in fuel efficiency, the New York Times reports. Cushy union contracts and multimillion-dollar paychecks for executives probably won’t help win over public support, either.
    
Testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee begins at 3 p.m. EST.
    
Speaking of bailouts, what’s happening to that $700 billion earmarked for the financial services industry? Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee at 10 a.m.
    
And it’s reckoning time for Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman. The 2000 Democratic vice-presidential nominee could lose control of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee as payback for supporting Republican John McCain in the presidential race when Senate Democrats hold leadership elections.
    
President-elect Barack Obama holds no public events today as he continues to assemble his administration from Chicago.
    
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will name baseball slugger Ken Griffey Jr. as a “public diplomacy envoy” who will travel the world to help improve the U.S. image abroad. Junior’s been hobbled by injuries over the past decade, but he’s been untainted by the steroids scandal that has snared more productive stars like Barry Bonds.
    
Stocks are expected to open lower on fears that the economic slump is worsening. The National Association of Realtors releases home-sale data at 10 a.m., and the Labor Department should provide a snapshot of inflation when it releases the Producer Price Index at 8:30 a.m.
    
And if you want to see Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia rub elbows with professional wrestler Bret Hart, head on over to the National Press Club’s book fair at 5:30 p.m.

3 comments

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I managed G.M. dealerships for 13 years from 1960-1973. G.M. is getting what they deserve. When dealers were asking for smaller, more efficient cars, G.M’s attitude was “they’ll buy what we build”. They fought every safety feature for years and contiued to ignore competition.
I certainly have great concern for the G.M. employees and the thousands of employees of the companies that supply and service them.
there is no way they should allow the excs whose arrogant attitude put them in this position should be allowed to take their multi million $ bonus or be the ones who mamage their bailout.

Posted by al bernstein | Report as abusive

Agreed. For some reason, our auto makers seem to think the US consumer needs to buy only what they think we should buy. If that was not bad enough, the automakers for years have displayed a lack of loyality for Americans by closing plants in the US in favor of cheaper labor. I understand the need to generate profit, however as an American company, they need to be part of the solution. True American Entrepreneurism finds solutions where the rest of world cannot. That is truely a cornerstone of our culture. Instead of simply leaving, why didn’t they attempt to find solutions with Congress just like they are trying to get money from congress?

Posted by David Hernandez | Report as abusive

Is anyone watching Citibank? After having a fixed rate credit card for nearly 12 years at 7.99% FIXED, they are raising interest rates to 7.99% PLUS prime VARIABLE for those who have never had a late payment, been over the limit and with excellent credit rating. Did they not receive their portion of the bailout? It is time that we “little people” rise up against the bailout and the banks who change the contracts with their credit card holders without warning or reason. What did Citibank do with the money they received? We need to get answers.

Posted by Tanner | Report as abusive