TCS Leaks Draft of Auto Bailout Plan
Taxpayers for Common Sense, a policy watchdog group, has gotten its hands on an early draft of the Democrats’ plans to bailout Detroit’s automakers, and they’ve shared it with the world. From their summary of the proposal:
It taps the existing $25 billion auto loan guarantee program created under the Energy bill. It also has a repayment structure (5 percent for 5 years, 9 percent after) similar to the bank investments under TARP. The starting point is the restructuring plans submitted by the companies on December 2, with a January 1 progress assessment due. Shorter term periodic reports are due upon release of the loans, every several days.
It also creates a so-called “Car Czar” (less colorfully called the “President’s designee”) within the Executive Branch (that serves at the pleasure of the President, so President-elect Obama can have who he wants upon taking office) that watches over car companies that have taken the loans and can void “sale, investment, contracts, commitment, or other transaction” that exceed $25,000,000. The Czar also sets executive compensation and corporate governance standards for the companies. The GAO and the TARP IG will oversee the work of the Czar and have access to the companies books.
Democrats are expected to finalize the plan later today, with the Senate voting on the bill as early as tomorrow. And lawmakers don’t want to be in Washington any longer than they have to. This is a story that’s sure to evolve quickly.