The White House is trying to shift blame to congressional Democrats if the auto industry doesn’t get the financial bailout it’s seeking, saying Democrats appear unwilling to loosen restrictions on $25 billion that’s already been approved to help the industry retool to make their vehicles more fuel efficient.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, reflected that view in an exchange with a reporter today:
PERINO: Well, Senator Reid (the Senate majority leader) appeared to foreshadow this morning that the Congress will fail to address this issue before they leave. And I’d like to just make a few points clear on that. One, there is legislation that’s being introduced by Senators Bond and Voinovich that the administration supports. That proposal would redirect existing funds already appropriated for the auto industry, rather than spending an additional $25 billion on top of the $25 billion we already support using, as we’ve said over the last few days.
That proposal of theirs would not rob the Treasury program of much needed funds to help save and strengthen the financial system. The purpose of the $700 billion was clearly intended for financial institutions, and we wanted to keep that whole.