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We interrupt Blago-palooza for a UAW bailout update: Weekend session?; Ensign joins Shelby on filibuster threat

By Michelle Malkin  •  December 9, 2008 03:36 PM

Hey, fellow taxpayers, this is your time to weigh in. Looks like the Senate UAW bailout vote will NOT take place tonight. Harry Reid is talking about a weekend session. More fiscal conservatives are joining the filibuster movement.

You have a chance to make a difference. Call your reps: 202-224-3121.

The latest:

Democratic leaders toned down their prediction that Congress would approve a $15 billion automaker bailout within 48 hours, as Republican objections proved difficult to resolve.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate is unlikely to vote on the measure tonight and warned that lawmakers may have to stay in session over the weekend if objections are raised to voting earlier. “Everyone should understand we’re going to work until we complete this,” Reid said.

Congressional action is likely the only chance for the aid General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC say they need to survive. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke ruled out central bank lending to automakers and suggested options including bankruptcy reorganization.

GM and Chrysler say they need at least $14 billion in combined aid to keep from running out of cash by early next year. Ford Motor Co., which would be eligible to apply for the loans, said again yesterday it doesn’t expect to. GM and Ford shares fell.

Some Democrats said support for the bailout in is in question. “It’s not a sure thing by any means,” said Michigan Representative Sander Levin, a Democrat.

Remind your Senators and congressmen that GM made a lame apology and empty promises before.

Make sure Sen. Shelby knows you support a filibuster.

Break the bailout cycle.


Another fiscal conservative steps up to the plate:

Sen. John Ensign said this morning he may try to block the Senate from passing an auto industry bailout, criticizing the plan as a further move toward “socializing” the economy.

“We’re looking at that very hard, because I have some serious, serious problems with this package as it currently stands,” Ensign said. “Unless we see some serious give by the other side, I think that not only myself but several of us will be looking at possibly blocking this package.”

Ensign commented during an interview broadcast on CNBC, as Congress returned this week to consider an $15 billion bailout bill negotiated between Democrats and the White House. He complained the Republicans in Congress were left out of the talks.

The Nevada Republican said the assistance to the automakers amounts to “the government picking the winners and losers instead of the market.”

“We’re just going down further and further and further towards socializing our economy,” he said.

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