Car industry rescue splits Democrats

A power struggle is developing inside the Democrat party between West coast environmentalists and the union-sponsored representatives of the party's industrial heartland, in a battle that will affect the future of the cash-strapped US car industry and shape President-elect Barack Obama's efforts to tackle global warming.

The party's leadership yesterday slapped down a $25bn compromise that would have bailed out the near-bankrupt automakers, demanding instead that Detroit's Big Three firms – General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – come up with a plan to restore their fortunes.

At the same time, a long-time supporter of green causes, California representative Henry Waxman, unseated one of the party's grandees to take control of the powerful House energy and commerce committee. John Dingell, who represents Michigan, the home state of the car industry, had been the committee's top Democrat for 27 years but clashed with younger members who wanted to push for tougher environmental policies.

Detroit's automakers have been pleading for government cash since sales collapsed last month. The credit crisis threatens to be the final straw for an industry in decline since the Fifties.

The Democrat leadership had been pushing for an emergency loan of $25bn to be arranged out of the $700bn bail-out of the US financial industry, but that deal was opposed by Republicans. Shares in GM and Ford leapt yesterday when it emerged Michigan's Democrat senator Carl Levin had agreed a cross-party compromise that unlocked the original $25bn, but the Democrat leadership beat him to television cameras. California representative Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, declared there was no support for handing Detroit new money unless they set out a "road to viability".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral