A small victory for the Big Three Automakers today as the House passes a mulitbillion dollar rescue package --- with strings attached. Of course the main reason for giving them the money is to save the thousands of jobs supported by the companies, some of those right here in Lubbock.
Local dealerships are trying to figure out what this 14-billion dollar bailout means for their business and for Lubbock buyers.
Now -- in short -- the final proposal is set at a 14-billion dollar emergency loan that would start being paid by the end of the week...
The car companies would then have to show their plans to re-build by March, and if that fails to happen, the 14 billion dollars would have to be paid back in thirty days.
Republicans are strongly opposed to this agreement, Democrats say it's the only way to fix the situation.
Local car dealerships say the one fact is that the auto industry is near rock bottom, and Pete Ruiz with Messer Ford says he hopes the bailout's passed for the sake of our economy.
Pete Ruiz, Messer Ford: "It's probably a good thing that the government gets involved in this. It's a two-edged sword. Getting involved they'll find out a little bit more about why and how it's gotten the way it has. And I think that's a good thing. I think it'll maybe help these big companies get a little more effective, more efficient. I think in the long run, it'll be a good thing for them, and for us, too.
Ruiz says if the Senate votes yes, the public probably wouldn't see a turnaround here locally until about the third quarter of '09.