Even Without Emission Language, Auto Bailout Has Tough Road Ahead
The House last night easily passed a compromise automaker bailout negotiated for days between congressional Democrats and the White House. The Democrats — who had already given in to White House demands that the $14 billion bailout cash be pulled from a previously approved $25 billion fund for retooling Detroit’s factories — also abandoned their insistence that the bill force the automakers to drop lawsuits against states trying to reduce tailpipe emissions.
Those lawsuits haven’t been successful, according to Daniel Becker, who heads the Safe Climate Campaign, but they have stalled state efforts to fight pollution and global warming. “It would be nice to end this process,” Becker said yesterday of the advantage of including the lawsuit language in the bill.
It might not be significant at all. Senate Republicans remain as opposed as ever to the Detroit bailout, and have threatened to kill the proposal in the Senate. What else can the Democrats fold on? We might soon find out.