Wednesday, November 12, 2008

White House Denies Attempt to Link Auto Industry Bailout to Colombia Pact


From Democracy Now on Wednesday, November 12, 2008


With hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.

The Bush administration is denying reports it wants to link aid to the auto industry to Democratic support for a free trade pact with Colombia. Democratic lawmakers meanwhile are preparing to push for emergency legislation to help the automakers during the lame-duck session of Congress next week.

The White House has rejected reports that President Bush tried Monday during his meeting with President-elect Obama to link aid to the auto industry to Democratic support for a free trade pact with Colombia. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said Tuesday that the President did not suggest a “quid pro quo’ even though he does support free trade with Colombia.

John Podesta, the co-chair of Obama’s transition team, also denied that President Bush had offered Colombia as part of a deal to bailout the auto industry. He told reporters Tuesday that “the president didn’t try to link Colombia to the question of an economic recovery package going forward.”

Democratic lawmakers meanwhile are preparing to push for emergency legislation to help the automakers during the lame-duck session of Congress next week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she had asked Congressman Barney Frank to begin drafting legislation to use part of the $700 billion dollar bailout to assist the auto industry. General Motors shares fell to their lowest point Tuesday since 1943.

We’re joined now by two guests. Mark Brenner, director of Labor Notes, the largest circulation cross-union national publication in the country, joins us the firehouse studio. And via videostream from Colombia, Mario Murillo is Professor of communications at Hofstra University and producer at Pacifica radio station WBAI in New York

Mark Brenner, director of Labor Notes, the largest circulation cross-union national publication in the country.

Mario Murillo, Professor of communication at Hofstra University and producer at Pacifica Radio station WBAI here in New York. He is the author of “Colombia and the United States: War, Terrorism and Destabilization.” He is currently living in Colombia and blogging at “Mama Radio.”

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