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Motor City Bailout Passes House, Gets Support Of Area Congressmen
Updated May 5, 2013 1:00 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(WASHINGTON, DC) - Two of Indiana's congressmen representing the WBIW listening area are in rare agreement.

4th District Republican Congressman Steve Buyer and 9th District Democratic Congressman Baron Hill both said "yea" to the auto industry bailout.

House Resolution 7321, the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act, passed in the House of Representatives 237-170, and two of those 237 included Buyer and Hill who, more often, are at odds.

Hill says he's glad the bill has three components the Wall Street package, that he voted against, didn't have, those being goals, oversight, and repercussions for failing to meet goals. Buyer says that, were the auto industry to fail, around 147,000 Hoosier jobs would be at risk.

The bill passes on to the Senate, where it will face even more significant opposition, and, going by the language of Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter, it could even face a filibuster, which, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada says, those for the bailout may not have the votes to break.

In the Senate, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh disagrees with those who would say let the automobile companies go down and force them into bankruptcy.

He says that would hurt tens of thousands of people..and affect Indiana probably more than any other state in the country.

Bayh says Indiana is just second behind Michigan in the percentage of auto-related jobs in the country.

Bayh says he understands those who are opposed to helping the auto companies, but you have to look at the bigger picture, saying if the alternative was an economic meltdown that would cost thousands or millions of people their jobs and create another depression , then that probably is not the way you want to go.

On the threat of a filibuster in the senate, Bayh said that's not uncommon but with tens of thousands of jobs hanging in the balance, it would be unfortunate if they didn't let the majority of the Senate vote its will, but he expects it to happen and he thinks it's close as to whether they have the required 60 votes or not.

Also, a couple professors at Indiana University have chimed in with their analysis of the Detroit bailout package.

John Graham, Dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, says Congress may be creating a problem in making Detroit focus on green technology with their $15 billion emergency loan package.

Graham says the global collapse in the price of oil has changed reality on the ground, and an over-focus on green cars could actually hurt Detroit and put them into bankruptcy.

Gilbert Frisbie, an Associate Professor at the IU Kelley School of Business who has consulted with both GM and Chrysler in the past, says the Detroit collapse was a long time coming, mostly because Detroit focused on short-term planning.

Frisbie also says one of the biggest helps Washington can offer Detroit, is reforming the health care system.

Network Indiana contributed to this story.



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