STATEMENT ON FINANCIAL RESCUE PACKAGE FOR AUTOMAKERS
As a United States Senator with a major automaker in my state, I am extremely concerned about the viability of the auto industry. I have worked hard to ensure the ongoing operations of the Saint Paul Ford Plant, and will continue to work with Ford officials and local and state officials to keep this plant viable well into the future, and preserve and protect good paying jobs for Minnesotans. That being said, I have a strong concern that any support we give the auto industry must have strong, fiscal controls and accountability. The taxpayers of my state will insist on it, and I will demand it. The fact is, the business model in Detroit doesn't work for the time we live in. We need a Detroit Auto Revolution -- the kind that created the massive economic renaissance that built America at the turn of the last Century. I believe by investing in new technology, insisting on new product development that is heavily laden with vehicles that function on new energy resources and a labor-management agreement that represents this Century's needs, and not the last Century's needs, we can restore confidence in the future economic condition of our Big 3 automakers. As I insisted on strong protections for taxpayers when the original $700 billion financial stabilization package was passed, I will insist on these major business model changes, as well as ensuring that labor unions are part of the solution, capping executive compensation, and a realistic blueprint for returning to profitability, before plowing tax dollars into this industry.