Auto rescue bill in peril, opposed by GOP senators
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON – Emergency aid for the nation’s imperiled auto industry was thrown into jeopardy Wednesday, opposed by Republicans who were revolting against a hard-fought deal between Democrats and the Bush White House to speed $14 billion to ailing carmakers.
The House was on track to vote on the bailout Wednesday night, and Democrats held out hope that it could be enacted by week’s end. But a growing number of GOP senators declared they would not go along.
The White House, though not formally endorsing an agreement with congressional Democrats, dispatched administration officials to Capitol Hill to make a case for the rescue package. During a contentious, closed-door luncheon with Senate Republicans, White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten got an earful of criticism from the rank-and-file, some of whom have already announced plans to block the measure.
“They got a good dose,” said opponent Tom Coburn, R-Okla., as he emerged from the session.