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White House Transition, More Bailouts and Power Struggles in Congress

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White House Transition, More Bailouts and Power Struggles in Congress

George W. Bush and Barack Obama hold transition talks at the White House.

Auto manufacturers continue their push for their own federal bailout.

Two senior members of Congressmen fight for control of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee.

More headlines: listen to the LibertyWeek podcast.  

1. POLITICS

George W. Bush and Barack Obama hold transition talks at the White House.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews on the direction the new administration should be heading:

“Since the President and President-elect [have started] spending quality Oval Office time together, and since the incoming administration’s advisors can’t settle on either pushing a ‘Big Bang’ agenda or something more incremental, we at CEI are more than happy to help. While they’re busy trying to lower expectations for a 100-Day agenda, we prefer to raise them – but in the direction of freedom rather than yet more central planning from Washington. Given the vast scope of the Federal government now, any conceivable agenda from any president barely scratches the surface of the thorough unshackling of American enterprise that needs to be done.”

 

2. BUSINESS

Auto manufacturers continue their push for their own federal bailout.  

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Iain Murray on how all of these bailout amounts are piling up:

“Ah, that slippery slope. All of a sudden, Nancy Pelosi has come to the conclusion that ensuring union retirees receive large amounts of taxpayers’ money is central to the country’s financial stability. And after all, it’s only $25 billion (or maybe $50 billion, still nowhere near $700 billion, or maybe $2 trillion). As my colleague Sam Kazman commented, even though multi-billion dollar bailouts may no longer be the rarity they once were, that does not entitle either the auto industry or the United Auto Workers to Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” status. Moreover, as Professor Bainbridge points out, all of the problems facing the Big Three would be better solved by bankruptcy than bailout.”

 

3. CONGRESS

Two senior members of Congressmen fight for control of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Adjunct Fellow Fran Smith on what the struggle could mean for future energy legislation:

“It could be that [Rep. Henry] Waxman’s action to unseat [Rep. John] Dingell is part of the in-coming president’s strategy to get a major climate change bill through Congress. President-elect Obama has a huge energy and climate change agenda that is now being marketed as part of a ‘stimulus’ and ‘job creation’ program. Expect lots of ethanol-type boondoggles for alternative energy as well as massive restrictions on energy use. Tighter [fuel economy] standards are one target. Look too at ‘windfall profits’ taxes on the oil industry — one of the few bright lights in these economic doldrums — that, combined with falling oil prices, could put a halt to oil exploration.”

 

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