Congress reassembles to tackle second wave of bailouts

John Salazar on election night at the Mesa Theater.

When Congress reassembles this week to tackle a second wave of financial bailouts, including a plan to inject cash into the automotive industry, Congressman John Salazar, D-Colo., said lawmakers
should attach strings to any payouts.

“I haven’t seen that this bailout has accomplished a whole lot,” Salazar said of the first bailout package.

Salazar said for him to get behind the idea of dedicating federal money to repairing the country’s stalling automotive industry, the legislation must include a series of conditions.

For starters. Salazar said any automotive company that receives a bailout should agree to produce more efficient vehicles and more electric or hybrid models. He said one of the reasons U.S. car manufacturers have lost business to Asian companies is foreign automotive firms “have the vehicles that Americans like.”

“I would certainly want to do a stimulus package, but one that does not just give money (away),” he said.

Salazar, along with U.S. Reps. Mark Udall, D-Colo., Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., and Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., voted against the $700 billion economic bailout package in late September and early October.

Salazar said he would like to see federal lawmakers start work on a plan to inject $200 billion into new infrastructure projects across the country. He said that sort of cash infusion would create tens of thousands of new jobs in the construction industry and other related sectors.

Salazar said he would support laying the groundwork for an economic stimulus package that rewards the creation of so-called “green-collar” jobs in the renewable energy sector.

“I think this is one way to get America moving forward again,” he said.

The House’s lame-duck session will overlap with the Senate’s post-election session, which starts today.


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