This account explains precisely why the White House move to loosen the TARP funds is so destructive:
[Sen. Bob] Corker said he told Ron Gettelfinger, the head of the union, in a phone call Friday morning that “we are so close,” but that the labor chief “is of the belief that there really is no reason to re-enter these conversations” because the White House seems likely to dig into its $700 billion financial rescue package for loans to the industry.
As Democrats called Republicans insensitive to the millions of workers who need the Big Three to survive, Corker took a jab at Democrats and their coziness with Big Labor.
“The fact of the matter is the only way a bill is going to pass out of the Senate and the House on the Democratic side is for the UAW to say we release you to vote for this,” Corker said. “I hate to be so blunt. That’s politics.”
Gettelfinger held a press conference Friday morning and blasted Senate Republicans, saying that the union would have gotten a raw deal under Corker’s plan and that no other stakeholder groups had to agree to such concessions. He argued that many of his members could not accept a wage cut as the economic recession deepens.
Lovely. The Republican President gives away the store, undercutting the Senate Republicans’ effort to get the UAW to act responsibly. Of the many foolish political moves and misguided policy decisions of the Bush presidency, this would rank fairly high. If it comes to this, Congressional Republicans might consider court action for misappropriation of funds by the Treasury without proper legislative authority.