WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. auto executives went to Capitol Hill for a second day on Wednesday to argue their case for $25 billion in aid as legislators proposed changes to help a bailout pass Congressional and White House muster.
The day’s hearings, before the House Financial Services Committee, got off to a rousing start when panel Chairman Barney Frank asked how the government could justify a bailout for banks and insurers, but not the automakers.
“Frankly, there seems to me to be an inherent cultural bias,” Frank said. “Aid to blue-collar employees is being judged by a standard different than white-collar employees.”
The weakened economy and global credit crisis pushed the U.S. government into bailing out companies including insurer American International Group Inc, investment bank Bear Stearns, and mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.