After hours of testimony before Congressional leaders Friday, the chief executives of Detroit’s “big Three” automakers left Washington D.C. empty handed, uncertain if they will secure the $34 billion rescue package they requested for their struggling companies.
The CEOs of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler could ultimately benefit from another dismal jobs report released Friday, which showed that employers cut over half a million jobs in November.
"I hope we will do something because I think for us to do nothing, to allow bankruptcies and failures in one, two or three of these companies in the midst of the worst credit crisis and the worst unemployment situation that we've had in 70 years would be a disaster," said Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, according to MarketWatch.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd will draft legislation that lawmakers can consider Monday, but it remained unclear whether the Senate and House would approve an eventual measure. Frank vowed to work with Dodd and other Congressional leaders over the weekend to craft a measure.
GM CEO Rick Wagoner has asked Congress for $12 billion in loans, while Chrysler’s Robert Nardelli seeks $7 billion. Ford chief executive Alan Mulally wants a $9 billion credit line.
Despite the consequences a bankruptcy of one of the “Big Three” could have on the economy, numerous lawmakers remain skeptical of the multi-billion dollar bailout package proposed by Detroit.
"I'm concerned that businesses are rightly going to start thinking that they can just come to Uncle Sam to bail them out, and we're broke," said Republican Rep. J. Gresham Barrett of South Carolina, according to Fox News.