Bush, Democrats seek to finalize auto bailout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House and congressional negotiators sought on Sunday to resolve remaining differences over an emergency rescue for the struggling auto industry, a stark symbol of the deepening U.S. economic crisis.

Prodded by shock unemployment figures that showed the country shed more than half a million jobs last month alone, negotiators tried to turn into legislation an agreement in principle to provide "The Big Three" U.S. automakers with at least $15 billion in short-term loans.

"The expectation is that White House will see our draft (bill) tonight," a Democratic aide said, adding several unspecified modifications were being incorporated into it.

In addition to reorganizing automakers and protecting taxpayer investment, possible conditions include creating a government "car czar" to oversee the bailout and additional concessions by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union as well as the corporate leadership.

The Senate is due back in session on Monday and negotiators hope to have a package ready that can be quickly approved and sent to President George W. Bush as one of the last measures he signs into law before Democrat Barack Obama succeeds him as president on January 20.

The amounts under discussion are less than half the $34 billion that the automakers asked Congress for last week. Some economists believe they may need $75 billion to $125 billion to survive in the longer term.

Nevertheless, lawmakers fear a recession will deepen if any of the three giants -- GM, Ford and Chrysler -- collapses soon. But some from Bush's Republican party don't want another rescue plan after a $700 billion Wall Street rescue package that triggered voter backlash in the November 4 congressional elections.

Critics also say market forces, not state intervention, ought to determine the fate of the auto industry.

Bailout backers say that since the government helped Wall Street, it must also help hundreds of thousands of blue-collar auto workers who have the support of Democrats.

Obama added his weight to the drive, saying while the car companies had made mistakes, letting them collapse was not an option -- although they must be forced to radically revamp their operations.

"I think that Congress is doing the exact right thing by asking for a conditions-based assistance package that holds the auto industry's feet to the fire," he said in Chicago, adding that new management could also be an option.

CONDITIONS AND CONCESSIONS

A UAW official, speaking after a Detroit church service dedicated to prayers for the auto industry, said on Sunday the union was open to moves by Chrysler to seek an alliance with a rival automaker as long as it saves as many jobs as possible.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said on Sunday that GM chairman Rick Wagoner should resign to allow new leadership to restructure the faltering company.

"He has to move on," Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who is leading efforts to craft bailout legislation, told CBS.

Faced with plummeting sales they blame largely on the credit crunch and recession, GM, Chrysler and Ford sought $34 billion from Congress last week to avoid possible collapse. A deal negotiated by the White House and Congress would provide no more than $17 billion to last into March.

Critics have said any loans would be a waste of money unless U.S. automakers were able to cut costs and better compete with more fuel-efficient, foreign-made cars.

Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, home to the major automakers, said he was confident there would be a deal in the next 24 hours. But he was less certain if backers would garner the 60 votes needed in the 100-seat Senate to avoid a Republican procedural hurdle known as a filibuster.

"That's a much more complicated question," Levin said on "Fox News Sunday."

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell earlier indicated he might support a bailout if it had adequate safeguards. But Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican who has spoken out against the proposed "bridge loan" emergency package, indicated he was ready for battle.

"This is a bridge loan to nowhere," said Shelby, appearing with Levin on "Fox News Sunday."

UNKNOWN FUTURE

Despite the progress in Washington, America's auto industry is headed into an unknown future.

GM and Chrysler, along with Ford once bywords for U.S. industrial power, are both headed for wrenching restructuring under federal oversight that will hit their investors, creditors, dealers and workers almost as hard as if they had filed for bankruptcy protection.

Ford is in slightly better financial shape, but all three are expected to continue to mothball plants and dismiss tens of thousands of employees.

A breakthrough in the auto crisis emerged on Friday after government statistics showed that employers slashed more than 533,000 jobs in November, the highest monthly decline in 34 years. This underscored lawmakers' feared that hundreds of thousands more would be thrown out of work if any of the major automakers went down.

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An Afghan interpreter who helped save then-Sen. Joe Biden's life in 2008 was among those stranded in Afghanistan after Biden's troop withdrawal. He has now escaped the country with his family, but not with President Biden's help.

Thanks to private organizations, including The Nazarene Fund, the interpreter and his family have now been rescued.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn Beck share the details:

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A shocking new report by The Daily Wire reveals that the furious father whose arrest at a school board meeting likely sparked the call for the FBI to investigate anti-CRT parents like domestic terrorists was furious for good reasons: The Loudoun County School Board allegedly tried to cover up his daughter's rape.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to discuss the incident and explain why he joined 60 lawmakers in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding answers for why the FBI is targeting parents.

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Watch the video clip below to hear Stewart explain:

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Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu is now warning that his nation is preparing for war with China after Beijing flew a record number of warplanes over Taiwanese territory. Wu reached out to another country for help, but it wasn't the United States.

In a video, Wu urged Australia to help prepare for a possible invasion, but gave the U.S. no mention.

"The defense of Taiwan is in our own hands, and we are absolutely committed to that. And if China is going to launch a war against Taiwan, we will fight until the end. And that is our commitment. And, of course, during this period of time, we would like to exchange with other countries for security cooperation," Wu said on ABC News In-depth's China Tonight program. "We would like to engage in security or intelligence exchanges with other like-minded partners, Australia included, so that Taiwan is better prepared to deal with the war situation. And so far, our relations with Australia is very good. And that is what we appreciate it for."

On "The Glenn Beck Program," Glenn, Pat Gray, and Stu Burguiere discussed whether or not America would do anything during such a conflict — because it sure seems like President Joe Biden is more focused on working with China to fight climate change. Plus, why did China just cut off all cryptocurrency?

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On "Glenn TV" tonight, Glenn Beck heads to the chalkboard to reveal how the fundamental transformation of America has already begun by turning the Declaration of Independence upside down.

If Donald Trump was a dictator, then what do we call President Biden? In Biden's first nine months in office, he has already issued 64 executive orders – that's more than Trump, Obama, W. Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Reagan each issued in their entire first years in office.

You never hear the Left talk about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights any more, unless it's to "reimagine" the Constitution or slap a "harmful content" warning on our founding documents. Seriously. The National Archives said while its website label wasn't targeting the Constitution specifically, "some of the materials presented here may reflect outdated, biased, offensive, and possibly violent views and opinions." The Left finds basic, guaranteed rights so offensive they now spend all of their time on workarounds to deal with America's annoying founding documents.

Watch the full episode of "Glenn TV" below to see Glenn outline the aggressive unconstitutional abuses "King Biden" is jamming down our throats and teaches Americans how we can defend against presidential tyranny.

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