WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today made the following statement on the President’s plan to use $17.4B from the TARP funds to bailout out American carmakers:

 “I am outraged by the President’s announcement today that he will be using money from the massive $700 billion bailout to bailout U.S. automakers. Once again we have an Administration changing course regarding the implementation of the massive bailout without any input from Congress. This is exactly the reason I have been such an outspoken opponent of the bailout from the very beginning.   

“I also opposed the $700 billion bailout because I knew that more than just the financial industry would soon be lining up to ask for government assistance. Congress considered legislation to assist the auto industry and it failed. By taking this action, these bailout funds are avoiding the necessary oversight the American people expect. I do not agree that the lack of a federal bailout will result in a disorderly bankruptcy of these companies. Chapter 11 of the US Code provides the structure for the substantial restructuring these companies need to take. Key among the steps is making their costs competitive with foreign automakers operating in the U.S.  

“Now, as the Bush administration has waffled and changed course again on implementation of the massive bailout,  many of my colleagues who initially voted for the $700 billion bailout have been expressing regret over their decision to hand over such a massive blank check with little oversight to the administration. They still have a chance at redemption by co-sponsoring my legislation, S. 3697, which freezes the bailout and gives back to the taxpayers their money that should never have been taken from them in the first place.  Americans need to contact their Senators and tell them to co-sponsor my bill so that it is has the necessary support to be heard. Over the next few weeks I will be reaching out to my colleagues to ask them to sign on to my bill so we can stop this nonsense as soon as possible.”