Auto-Bailout Dead As A Doornail

This was originally posted at 10:34 PM EST, Dec 11, 2008. It’s from an instant messenger conversation with one of my sources in the Senate.

Anon Senate Aide: Auto bailout dead.

John Hawkins: Dead dead? What happened? =D

Anon Senate Aide: Negotiations ended, no deal.

John Hawkins: Until next year or for a day or two?

Anon Senate Aide: Until next year. Corker tried to make a deal with Dems, UAW wouldn’t make concessions, so it will die on cloture vote with GOP opposing. Vitter held the line too, objecting to quick vote, forcing more debate. He was strong.

John Hawkins: This is awesome!

Anon Senate Aide: Corker did the right thing not caving to UAW.

John Hawkins: I expected them to get rolled. I am thrilled that they didn’t.

Anon Senate Aide: Yeah, I’m pleasantly surprised.

Update #1: Another source told me last night that if the bill goes down — and it is going down — that he thought Bush might use the remaining TARP money for the bailout. There is 15 billion remaining and Bush does not need Congressional approval to use it.

Why would Bush do that? It’s a legacy thing. Bush doesn’t want to have any of the Big 3 automakers fail on his watch. So, he’d probably rather kick the can down the road and let Obama deal with it.

Update #2: Bailout defeated 52-35. They needed 60 votes to break a filibuster.

Update #3: Seldom do I have anything good to say about Mitch McConnell, but this time around, he led the Senate Republicans in the right direction. Good Job, Mitchie!

Update #4: The bad news here is that in 2009, the car companies will be back again, asking for a lot more money (100 billion plus?) and it seems doubtful that the GOP will be able to sustain a filibuster unless a lot more Democrats get on board.

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