Exchange with Kay Bailey Hutchison on the Automaker Aid Bill on Bloomberg

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... close off the opportunity to do something bigger and bolder in january? >> and there's still a lot of jockeying going on over what to do with automakers and there could be a compromise as soon as the end of this week, peter. >> lindsey arent with the latest on the automakers. and for the very latest on where the automaker bailout stands in congress, we want to bring in two members of the congressional leadership. maryland democrat steny hoyer is the house majority leader and texas republican kay bailey hutchinson has been chair of the republican policy committee in the u.s. senate. thanks for joining us. leader hoyer, the automakers came to town hat in hand looking for cash. are they leaving town empty handed? >> well, it appears that we're at risk of that happening. and i say at risk of that happening because i think many of us are convinced that in trying to restore confidence to the economy, had -- in trying to stabilize the bad statistics that are coming and more importantly the bad realities of lost jobs, lost employment, lost health care, that stabilizing the financial markets clearly was an objective. but also stabilizing the auto industry which is critical to our country's health is also very important. and we were hopeful that we could move a package through the senate and through the house which would have the effect of giving some temporary stimulus to the auto companies and getting them through what is a very rough patch in terms of consumer buying of automobiles. mainly because financing and the second reason because the people of course don't have confidence that they're going to have a job tomorrow and will be able to afford that car. so we think that we ought to act. we ought to act now. and we would hope the senate would in fact consider that. we believe if they do, that we can pass the bill that we sent to them on unemployment. if they amend it and put autos in there, we think we can pass it. >> senator hutchinson, it sounds like the democrats are suggesting if niece companies go under, it's going to be republicans and the white house standing in the way. is that fair? >> i think that is fair. dana perino, i believe that was dana perino, saying if we go home for a long vacation. we're not going home for a long vacation. we're trying to get something done this week. we came back this week. we're prepared as i said to come back in future weeks if we can act. we're not going to pretend in the house that we could pass something. if the senate can't pass it, and the president won't sign it, that will be somewhat of a symbolism but not reality. what we need is reality to restore confidence and to ensure the stability of our economy. >> let me get senator hutchinson in on this. where does this stand? >> there is i think a very strong compromise on the table that the president has said he's willing to sign. they've been asking for $25 billion. and $25 billion is on the table. it's the $25 billion that has already been passed. we need to have a bridge loan to the auto companies. we can do it without putting any new money in. using the $25 billion that's already there. and have the payback go back into the fund for the long-term needs of the auto companies to retool their manufacturing operations for better technology and better efficiency and gasoline mileage efficiencies. so really the president is willing to work within that $25 billion that's already there which can't be spent by the auto companies on the long-range technological improvements anyway. because they say they aren't going to be able to operate at all. and what i think is going to happen, peter, is that once we get credit out into the markets, to the consumers, and we start getting orders for cars again, then they'll have orders to be able to fill. that's -- and i think we have a compromise that's ready to go. >> why are democrats resistant to that? >> let me comment on that. because we don't think substantively it's an alternative. what we passed was a loan guarantee number one. we appropriated some $7 billion for that. not $25 billion. which is what they need on a bridge loan. and that money is to make them -- give them the opportunity to retool so they can produce energy efficient automobiles that will be saleable. will be marketable. so to retreat from that and to use that as the alternative, first of all, there's not $25 billion. there's $7 billion. for a guarantee. it's appropriated for a guarantee. not even for payment to the automobile companies. >> so these -- it's apples to oranges, senator hutchinson? it doesn't sound like it will get the job done and the automakers suggested it wasn't a reasonable alternative as well. >> no. but they're asking for basically $50 billion. and i think $25 billion as a bridge, what we're suggesting is that you go in and take the ...