The Senate plans to take up a $25 billion bill on Monday to bail out distressed domestic auto companies, but it is unclear if proponents can muster the necessary support.
Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said on Friday he “plans to press forward” with emergency aid to automakers and a plan to extend unemployment insurance even though Republican backing is not assured.
Reid plans to begin debate and hopes the Senate will conduct procedural votes early in the week.
It will be difficult for Democrats to push through an auto bailout in the Senate if minority Republicans object and decide to erect procedural roadblocks.
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Reid cast the auto issue in a letter to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky as legislation to protect millions of workers “at risk from the possible collapse” of the automakers.
General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC are furiously lobbying for $25 billion in immediate bailout money to help them survive the industry’s worst financial crisis.