Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell led his caucus against the White House-backed auto rescue legislation, so it's no surprise that he's angry about President Bush's decision to dip into the Wall Street bailout package to give a huge loan to Chrysler and General Motors.
McConnell hails from Kentucky, an auto-producing state, which has put him in a tough spot between Republicans from manufacturing states who are clamoring for federal aid and GOPers who either have foreign plants in their states or oppose bailing out anyone.
But McConnell's opposition to the $14-billion auto bailout helped kill the package last week in the Senate, and here's his statement after Bush's Friday announcement:
“I have strong objections to the use of Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds for industry specific bailouts. And I do not support this action. But since the administration has chosen to use these funds to aid the automakers, it is important that the date-specific requirements on all the stakeholders be enforced.
“The auto industry is important to my state and to our nation's economy and needs real reform in order to survive. Although some have already called to weaken these much-needed reforms, the stakeholders and the next administration must uphold the requirement that the labor, health benefits and debt modifications be agreed to by February 17th. The taxpayers who are providing these funds deserve no less.”