Digital News Report- The $14 billion auto bailout bill, which was finalized on Wednesday, has stalled in the Senate. It failed to reach a 60 vote majority that would have ended the debate, which has killed the measure for the year.
Senate Democrats and Republicans have failed to reach a compromise, which resulted in a 52-35 final vote tally, just eight votes shy of the 60 vote goal. This is due in large part to Senate Republicans demands that the United Auto Workers accept swift wage cuts, which caused talks with Senate Democrats to collapse.
The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, stated that he was “terribly disappointed” when it became obvious that the bill would not pass. Republican Sen. Bob Corker said the two sides had been “three words” away from a deal, but that the UAW’s rejection of wage concessions before 2011 ultimately kept the bill from passing.
Stock markets in Japan and Australia have reacted negatively to the news. Reid states that he “[dreads] looking at Wall Street tomorrow.” He adds, “it’s not going to be a pleasant sight.”
Bloomberg has predicted that GM could be bankrupt “in weeks.” It is predicted that the effects of this on Detroit will be devastating.
The UAW has issued a statement saying that they are “deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans have blocked the bipartisan legislation that was agreed to by President Bush and congressional Democrats.”
President-elect Barack Obama has expressed support of the bill, but has not yet spoken about its failure in the senate. Talk are also underway to use a portion of the $700 billion bank bailout towards a revied auto bailout plan.