The First Draft: Friday, Dec 12
Senate brinksmanship kills a proposed $14 billion bailout for Detroit’s struggling “Big Three” automakers, so eyes turn back to the White House.
The Senate is due back in session at 10 a.m. Eastern for what could be a quick round of final recriminations.
Analysts say the most immediate hope for help for GMC, Chrysler and Ford is now the Bush administration, which could possibly decide to use financial bailout funding to help the massive car manufacturers — if there’s any money left.
Bush, who had resisted this idea in the past, is headed to Texas A&M University where he is due to deliver a commencement address. The White House said this morning it was willing to consider steps to avoid an auto apocalypse.
There’s finger pointing in every direction — the UAW union, recalcitrant Republicans, overreaching Democrats, and the lame-duck White House — but nobody seems sure what happens next for companies which say they are responsible for one out of 10 U.S. jobs.
Stock futures were down, indicating that benchmark U.S. indexes could open down about 3 percent or more amid a worldwide sell-off.
Meanwhile, whatever attention is left is fixed firmly on Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is still in office three days after being charged with corruption in connection with allegations that he sought to “sell” the vacant U.S. Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama.
Lots of people seem to want the man out — Obama described himself as “appalled” — but there’s no word on whether Blagojevich intends to resign. Obama, who has sought to distance himself from the Democratic governor, has no public events scheduled today.
REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (Bush on South Lawn)