So, how is Washington reacting to today's announcement from President Obama that he would refuse "further long-term federal bailouts for General Motors and Chrysler"?
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid commended Obama for what he called "firm resolve" when it comes to dealing with automakers.
- ... Rep. Darrell Issa ... praised Obama's announcement saying he had "struck the right chord in seeking balance between supporting the American auto industry and calling for a much-needed restructuring of GM and Chrysler."
- Tennessee Republican Bob Corker ... "With sweeping new power the White House will be deciding which plants will survive and which won't, so in essence, this administration has decided they know better than our courts and our free market process how to deal with these companies," Corker said in a statement.
- And on the Senate floor, John McCain ... "So instead of sending General Motors and Chrysler into the pre-packaged bankruptcy they deserve, now have taken the unprecedented step of firing the CEO of General Motors," he said. "A remarkable move by the federal government. I think unprecedented in the history of this country."
- Rep. Thaddeus McCotter , R-Mich., said GM was being treated different than banks that had been bailed out by the government. "Mr. Wagoner has been asked to resign as a political offering despite his having led GM’s painful restructuring to date," McCotter said in a statement. "When will the Wall Street CEO’s receiving TARP funds summon the honor to resign? Will this White House ever bother to raise the issue? I doubt it."
- ... John D. Dingell , D-Mich., expressed support for the deal, and sought to bolster confidence in GM and Chrysler. "I steadfastly believe that both companies are on the verge of emerging from this dark period as industry leaders once again in sales, fuel economy, safety and customer satisfaction."
- Ohio Sen. George Voinovich ... said he was happy that the White House was "insisting that American auto companies receiving taxpayer dollars can stand on their own two feet eventually."
And according to Politico, Republicans were caught "flat-footed" by today's announcement and it "sent the highly disciplined GOP message machine careening out of control."
Two factors undermined any attempt at a unified GOP response: parochialism and timing.
One senior GOP Senate aide acknowledged that Republicans were caught flat-footed. And because many lawmakers were traveling back to Washington Monday after a weekend away, they didn’t have much of a chance to formulate a unified response.
But never mind Washington; what say you?
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