House Republicans on Wednesday announced plans to offer an alternative to the $15 billion Democratic-backed auto bailout bill.
The American Automotive Reorganization and Recovery Plan will establish “firm benchmarks” and a “tight timeline” for restructuring of the Big Three automakers, according to a release from Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Some of the proposals in the Republican plan are an agreement from the companies’ creditors to reduce each automaker’s indebtedness by one-third, and a requirement that the United Auto Workers union accept several cost-cutting measures, including elimination of Supplemental Unemployment Benefits and the Jobs Bank Program. These tasks must be completed by March 31, 2009, according to the GOP plan.
The Republican alternative also stipulates that the Big Three accomplish their restructuring through the use of “pre-packaged bankruptcy or another mechanism” to allow all the stakeholders to be involved in the process, rather than appointing a “car czar” that Republicans say would lead to a system “akin to nationalizing” the auto companies.
The final provision of the Republican plan provides for an insurance-based financing plan based on the private market, rather than funding the bailout through taxpayer dollars. The GOP presented a similar proposal as a part of their alternative to the $700 billion bailout of failing financial companies.
“The Democrats’ proposal does not provide adequate assurances to ask them to take this substantial risk. Instead of laying the groundwork for the long-term viability of the auto industry, I’m concerned that this proposal asks taxpayers to further subsidize a business model that is failing to meet the needs of American workers and consumers,” Boehner said.