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WASHINGTON – Top Republican senators said Sunday they will oppose a Democratic plan to bail out Detroit automakers, calling the U.S. industry a "dinosaur" whose "day of reckoning" is coming. Their opposition raises serious doubts about whether the plan will pass in this week's postelection session.
Democratic leaders want to use $25 billion of the $700 billion financial industry bailout to help General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC.
Sens. Richard Shelby of Alabama and Jon Kyl of Arizona said it would be a mistake to use any of the Wall Street rescue money to prop up the automakers. They said an auto bailout would only postpone the industry's demise.
"Companies fail every day and others take their place. I think this is a road we should not go down," said Shelby, the senior Republican on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
"They're not building the right products," he said. "They've got good workers but I don't believe they've got good management. They don't innovate. They're a dinosaur in a sense."
Added Kyl, the Senate's second-ranking Republican: "Just giving them $25 billion doesn't change anything. It just puts off for six months or so the day of reckoning."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said over the weekend that the House would provide aid to the ailing industry, though she did not put a price on her plan.
"The House is ready to do it," said Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. "There's no downside to trying."
But Democrats have only a narrow majority in the Senate and President George W. Bush opposes the idea. That raises the possibility that any help for automakers will have to wait until 2009, when Barack Obama takes office and the Democrats increase their majority in the Senate.
Source the AP via Yahoo.com