They're still test-driving the newest proposal to lend money to General Motors and Chrysler, two of Detroit's "Shrinking Three" automakers. Quick aside: which manufacturer has sold the most cars in America this year? Answer: GM, not Toyota. Seems the car-loan package is in a nasty cul-de-sac with bumps, potholes and misleading road signs.
The politicians' tone now is determined but not confident, serious but not proud. Many sticky political conflicts yet to be negotiated if a bill is to even get to a vote in Congress. The current variety of the bill has not gotten a smile at the White House nor from Congressional leaders in the Republican Party.
Grim Democrats say they will keep Congress in session through the weekend if necessary. Tough words for a lameduck Congress wanting to be off for the holidays. Golf courses, ski runs and sunny beaches are going to miss their favorite Congressperson this season?
NOW WE HEAR A NEW VERSION ON FUEL EFFICIENCY.
One thing has definitely been revealed by the current auto drama. The power of testimony devoid of fact. When the major automakers wanted to head off tougher fuel standards from states like California and New York, they argued in court those regs would kill them. Now that they're begging-bowl-in-hand, some of these same carmakers promise Congress they will meet those once descried fuel efficiency standards. You will recall that last year the current EPA ruled against the states and for the big automakers in the battle over fuel efficiency.
One area of conflict between the White House and Congressional Dems: would the federal loan bar the automakers from using their cash to fund lawsuits against increased greenhouse gas restrictions? As far as I can discern there would still not be a limit on how much the automakers could spend on lobbyists. After all, lobbyists are central to our American system of government.