|Congressional Democrats on Sunday were weighing options for tight government control of the crippled American auto industry, including the possible creation of an oversight board made up of five cabinet secretaries and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and led by an independent chairman or “car czar” to be named by President Bush.|
While the form of oversight was still being negotiated by Congressional Democrats and the White House late Sunday, the talks made clear the extent to which the auto companies would have to submit to substantial government supervision in order to receive a taxpayer-financed bailout.
Under one proposal, the board would direct the drastic reorganization plans that the auto companies have said they were willing to undertake in exchange for billions of dollars in short-term government loans to keep them in business, according to a senior Congressional aide.
The discussions of how strong a hand the government should take with the auto industry came as Congressional and White House negotiators sought to put the final touches on emergency bridge loans of about $15 billion to keep General Motors, Chrysler and Ford afloat. The final legislation is also expected to impose stringent taxpayer protections, including stock warrants that would give the government an equity stake in the three firms, new limits on executive pay and a ban on stock dividends while the loans are outstanding.
Once a bill offering aid to the industry is finalized by Congressional Democrats and the White House, it must still win the approval of Senate Republicans.
Too many chefs for one small pot of crap.