Auto Bailout ‘Out of Line’ With My Free Market Principles, GOP Whip Says

By Josiah Ryan | December 9, 2008 | 6:43 PM EST

House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (D-Mo.)

( – Outgoing House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said that the recent bailout proceedings in Congress are “out of line” with his free market principles, but he led Republicans, nonetheless, to support the $700 billion financial bailout, and he may support a bailout for the Big Three automakers.
“None of this is in line with my own free market principles,” Blunt told when asked if giving the automakers another loan-bailout is sound economics.
Members of the Democratic congressional leadership announced on Tuesday that they were near completing legislation, in conjunction with the White House, which would grant Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors, a total of $15 billion in bridge loans.
"We would hope that we could complete work on this Detroit situation tonight or tomorrow," said Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Blunt said that the U.S. economy is so fragile that taxpayers may need to prop up the teetering automotive industry to “build a bridge to the future.” 
“Clearly, these industries have a huge impact on the economy,” he said. “The economy is very fragile right now. And that argues for doing what we need to in order to build them a real bridge into the future. But to do that they have to know what that future is going to look like, and that they are viable in that future.”
But at a House Financial Services Committee hearing last Friday, Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) said giving the Big Three automakers a bailout could end up being “another bridge to nowhere.”
Blunt said that any plan he endorsed would have to include a viable plan for the automakers to pay the American taxpayers back the borrowed money.