Governor urges federal action to help auto industry

Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY)
Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY)

By David McArthur - bio | email 
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Congress is back in session and a top issue could impact a lot of Kentuckiana families. Ford, along with Chrysler, and General Motors are seeking $25-billion in federal loans to keep the struggling auto industry afloat.

With two Ford plants, A GM Corvette plant and Toyota plant, plus all the suppliers, the auto business is big business Kentucky. The state ranks third in the country for then number of auto related jobs. Ford has more than 5,000 in Louisville and both local plants are preparing for temporary shut downs beginning in December.

Kentucky's Mitch McConnell is the minority leader in the Senate. He has expressed concerns about what a $25-billion bailout would do to the national deficit. But Gov. Steve Beshear says he has been on the phone with Washington lawmakers urging action.

"If we can help the financial sector, help the banks to stay in business, we are talking about an industry that affects four to five million people across the country. Thousands in Kentucky.  I don't like the idea of bailing out anybody, but in these perilous times this is uncharted waters," Beshear told WAVE 3.

While he can't vouch for GM or Chrysler, Beshear says has met with Ford executives and believes if the company can survive this economic downturn with some federal help, it will re-emerge stronger.