Now it’s the Bush administration’s time to cave. In a statement issued this morning, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the Treasury Dept. “will consider” using a portion of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout cash to help the struggling automakers. From the statement, via The New York Times:
Under normal economic conditions we would prefer that markets determine the ultimate fate of private firms. However, given the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, we will consider other options if necessary — including use of the TARP program — to prevent a collapse of troubled automakers.
Senate Republicans last night killed a proposal — supported by the White House and congressional Democrats — to provide a $14 billion lifeline to Detroit’s automakers. It’s not clear what happens now, but one thing is certain: President George W. Bush, if he can’t rally his own party to support his proposals, is running this country only nominally.