Reps. Ackerman & Pence on the Auto Bailout

Reps. Ackerman & Pence on the Auto Bailout

Hannity & Colmes - December 10, 2008

COLMES: This is a FOX News alert. Just moments ago, the House voted 237-170 to pass the $14 billion auto bailout bill. Thirty-two Republicans voted for the bill, and 20 Democrats voted against.

And joining us now are two gentlemen on each side of the -- one on each side of the issue, actually. Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, who was against the bailout, and New York Congressman Gary Ackerman, who was for the bailout.

Congressman Ackerman, let me start with you. In light of the fact that word is when it gets to the Senate it may not get through, and so it may be dead after all. Is that what's going to happen?

REP. GARY ACKERMAN (D), NEW YORK: Well, let's -- well, first let me say we're going to miss you, Alan. We're looking forward to watching you in your new -- in your new venture.

COLMES: Thanks very much.

ACKERMAN: Yes, we don't know what's going to happen in the Senate. They're threatening to be a little bit obstreperous on this, and they may have the votes on -- on a filibuster. So we may have to come back sometime next week, but we're hoping they'll be reasonable and take the bill.

COLMES: All right. Congressman Pence, how do you bail out the banks? How do you give them $700 billion and then deny $14 billion to an industry that's accountable for millions of jobs?

REP. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: It's a fair question. I strongly opposed the $700 billion bailout, and today with 150 Republicans, we strongly opposed this $15 billion bailout to Detroit.

Look, Alan, the American people know we can't borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy or a healthy domestic automotive industry.

The plan that Democrats brought to the floor tonight I think was a disservice to taxpayers, and frankly, it was a disservice to auto workers in the automotive sector in Detroit. There's -- there's no means to restructure what is obviously a flawed business plan, and there's no attempt to...

COLMES: What plan would you go for to help save the industry? Is there a plan you could approve that would bail out or -- maybe bailout is the wrong word -- but secure loans, help the industry, keep them in business? How would you -- what could you approve?

PENCE: Well, House Republican leaders today came out with a reorganization plan, where we would utilize the institutions of the federal courts in this country to do, essentially, a prepackaged reorganization under the jurisdiction of the courts, where all the parties would be required to come together and really make the kind of concessions that will be necessary to put this domestic industry back on its feet.

The credit part of it, though, in the Republican leadership proposal today, would essentially be a hand up, not a hand out. It would be a back stop where we'd have a private sector investment going into Detroit, rather than asking taxpayers for one more bailout after another.

HANNITY: Well, I'll tell you...

ACKERMAN: This is -- this is President Bush's plan, and he sent it over to the House. We negotiated with the White House, put the votes together, and this is what's on the table.

I'm shocked that the Republicans have more confidence to put this in the bankruptcy court and to let them run the system rather than the president of the United States and the people that he's appointed in the administration to oversee this.

HANNITY: Let me say this to you, Gary. I'm going to tell you right now, if we don't get Congress and you guys in Washington out of the way. It's Congress that forced banks to make risky loans.


HANNITY: You guys in Congress -- not you particularly -- wait a minute -- wait, the Redevelopment Act of '74, double downed in '95, caused the subprime crisis. You forced banks to lower their standards so that they'd give risky loans.

We have bad energy policy. We have bad trade policy. We have CAFE standards that you imposed on these auto companies, safety standards. It's almost like when you guys in Washington...


ACKERMAN: Let me take them one at a time.

HANNITY: They're suffering because of your policies.

ACKERMAN: No, these aren't -- these aren't our policies. These are policies of the American people.

HANNITY: No, no, no, you passed the law.

ACKERMAN: Sean, let me answer. Let me answer one question at a time. We didn't force banks to lower their standards.

HANNITY: Yes, you did.

ACKERMAN: No, what we said -- no.

HANNITY: Yes, you did. By law.

ACKERMAN: You can keep saying it. Let me give an answer. What we did is told banks that they have to be equitable in approaching -- well, we told banks to...

HANNITY: To lower their standards?

ACKERMAN: No, we did not. We told them that they had to look at loans that were applied for in minority neighborhoods all over the country and to treat people...

HANNITY: No, that's not true.

ACKERMAN: ... treat people fairly. It is true.

PENCE: Sean -- Sean, I've got to tell you.


HANNITY: All right. Mike Pence, go ahead.

PENCE: Sean, you put your finger on the fundamental issue. You know, the creation in the Democrat plan that passed the House tonight of a car czar, I've got to tell you, you know, one more Washington bureaucrat who's probably never ever tightened a lug nut, deciding how -- how Detroit automotive car companies can make cars and make money at the same time.

We ought to allow federal judges who have -- who are involved in business reorganizations all the time to have the jurisdiction over these three companies and allow them to come together, redo their business plan. I know...


ACKERMAN: Let me...

HANNITY: Seven hundred billion for insurance companies, banks, and financial institutions. I don't want these guys losing their jobs. And this is really important. But you're right. If we don't get back to free- market capitalism and get the government off their back, they're never going to be able to survive.

I mean, the government has caused a lot of the problems.

ACKERMAN: Sean -- Sean, these are three million hard-working guys and gals.

HANNITY: I want them to work.

ACKERMAN: Most of whom watch FOX. They're your viewers.

HANNITY: I want them...

ACKERMAN: These are the people who are on the assembly line...

HANNITY: I'm defending them.

ACKERMAN: ... in the last industry in America.

HANNITY: I'm saying get off their backs.

ACKERMAN: These people are entitled to have jobs. We are not on their backs.

HANNITY: We've got to break.


HANNITY: We've got to go. Appreciate it.

Hannity & Colmes


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