Entries in Detroit (7)


Jack Lew: Detroit Will Have to ‘Work With Its Creditors’ to Resolve Bankruptcy

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- During an interview for ABC’s This Week, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Detroit would have to deal with its creditors in order to resolve its recently-declared bankruptcy when he was asked about the possibility of a federal bailout for Motor City.

“Detroit’s economic problems have been a long time in developing. We stand with Detroit trying to work through how it approaches these issues,” Lew told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

“To that extent that there are kind of normal relations between the federal government and state and local government — we’ve been using those methods.  Even in the Treasury Department, we have a program where we work to help with housing programs.  I think when it comes to the questions between Detroit and its creditors, that’s really something that Detroit is going to have to work out with its creditors,” he said.

The issue of a Detroit bailout has been a divisive one in Washington. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has issued tweets expressing his views on the subject, is dead set against it while the AFL-CIO has called for the federal government to provide Motown with assistance. Detroit’s mayor said “not yet” when Stephanopoulos asked him about the possibility of a bailout during their interview last Sunday.

During the interview, Stephanopoulos also asked Lew about a critical decision the president will have to make in the next few months — the choice of who should succeed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke when he leaves his post. Lew praised the current chairman, but declined to discuss his preference for who should replace him.

“I have to start by saying that Chairman Bernanke has been an extraordinary and remains an extraordinary Fed chairman,” Lew said. “I’m going to keep private any conversations that we’re having with the president on the question of when and what kind of succession there should be. I think that those conversations are best left in the privacy of the Oval Office.”

The fall showdowns over funding the government loom over Congress, and Stephanopoulos asked Lew if the current disagreement between Democrats and Republicans would lead to a government shutdown.

“It is imperative that Washington be part of the solution, not part of the problem. We can’t afford self-inflicted wounds and we can’t have these kinds of self-created crises month after month, year after year,” he said.

“And I think we’re going to be able to work through these issues.  And I certainly hope that Congress isn’t looking to create confrontations and false crises because we did see, in 2011, how bad that is for the American economy,” Lew added, referring to the fight over raising the debt ceiling two years ago that led in part to the subsequent lowering of the credit rating of the United States by Standard and Poor’s.

Asked about raising the debt ceiling in coming months, Lew said the president would not negotiate on the issue.

“The mere fact of negotiating over the debt limit, after 2011, would introduce this notion that somehow there’s a question about whether or not we’re going to pay our bills, whether or not we’re going to protect the full faith and credit of the United States,” he said.

“Well, it’s not OK to default.  Congress can’t let us default.  Congress has to do its work,” Lew said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama Visits Detroit Truck Maker as ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Looms

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- With the “fiscal cliff” 21 days away, President Obama on Monday takes his second-term economic agenda on the road to the Motor City, pitching higher taxes on the wealthy and greater investment in U.S. manufacturing.

Obama will tour a Detroit Diesel Corp. engine facility, owned by Germany-based Daimler, and deliver a speech on “the economy and middle class families,” the White House said.  In conjunction with the visit, the company planned to announce a $100 million investment in expanded U.S. production and new jobs.

Obama is using the trip to highlight the jobs news as a bright spot in uncertain economic times, while trying to bolster his image as a “warrior for the middle class.”  Before a backdrop of auto workers, Obama will renew his push to extend for 98 percent of Americans the current tax rates that are set to expire at the end of the year.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers agree on the extension, but its passage has become entangled in the broader “cliff” debate.  Unless Obama and Republicans reach a deficit-reduction deal by Dec. 31 to avert a looming package of automatic tax hikes and deep spending cuts, the average American middle-income family could see taxes rise by more than $2,000 next year.

The top negotiators in search of a deal -- Obama and House Speaker John Boehner -- met face-to-face on Sunday at the White House for the first time in more than three weeks.  Neither side would offer details of the session, however, with aides saying only that “the lines of communication remain open.”

Some Republicans have begun showing flexibility about approving higher tax rates for upper-income earners -- a key demand of Obama and Democrats -- but only in exchange for more significant cuts to entitlement program spending than those proposed by the White House.

“We don’t have a lot of cards as it relates to the tax issue before year’s end,” said Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee on Fox News Sunday.  “So a lot of people are putting forth a theory, and I think it has merit, where you go ahead and give the president… the rate increase on the top 2 percent, and all of the sudden the shift goes back to entitlements.”

White House legislative affairs chief Rob Nabors and Boehner chief of staff Mike Sommers are expected to meet behind closed doors later Monday in Washington to continue staff-level talks.

Officials in Detroit said Daimler’s announcement would make Daimler Trucks North America the first heavy-duty truck company in the U.S. to produce the engine, axles and transmission all in one place.  It is expected to lower manufacturing costs and consumer prices as well as improve fuel efficiency.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


U-Haul Truck Carrying Biden Gear Stolen in Detroit

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- A U-Haul truck carrying equipment for Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign event in Detroit Monday was stolen this weekend, ABC News confirmed with United States Secret Service.

Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, told ABC News the truck carrying equipment was stolen between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning at the Westin Hotel in Detroit. He would not specify what kind of equipment was in the truck.

The stolen U-Haul truck was recovered in Detroit Monday, but some if its contents are missing. It was found outside an apartment near Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Donovan told ABC News.

“Some of our property was there, but not all,” Donovan said. “We are still assessing.”

Biden’s speech at the AFL-CIO Labor Day rally in downtown Detroit continued as planned without the equipment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Sits, Reflects on Rosa Parks Bus

Win McNamee/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- At a campaign fundraiser earlier Wednesday at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, President Obama had a chance to sit and reflect inside the old Montgomery, Ala., bus on which Rosa Parks made history.

“I just sat in there for a moment and pondered the courage and tenacity that is part of our very recent history but is also part of that long line of folks who sometimes are nameless, oftentimes didn’t make the history books, but who constantly insisted on their dignity, their share of the American dream,” Obama told donors at a subsequent event in suburban Detroit, according to a reporter on scene.

The personal moment for Obama at the Ford Museum was not captured by White House press corps photographers, who were kept on the sidelines of the event.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Democrats Hit Romney on Auto Bailout

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ahead of Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate in Michigan, Democrats are renewing attacks on Mitt Romney over his opposition to the multi-billion dollar government bailouts of GM and Chrysler -- automobile giants that are headquartered in the state.

In a new web video titled “Hit the Road, Mitt,” the Democratic National Committee highlights a November 2008 op-ed Romney penned for The New York Times titled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” and features an audio clip of Romney saying those same words.

“This city.  Where American rubber meets the road.  A town that’s been to hell and back.  So what was his answer for the Motor City?” the narrator asks.

“Let Detroit go bankrupt,” interjects Romney’s voice.

The automakers, who did ultimately receive an infusion of government cash backed by President Obama and Congressional Democrats, have since experienced a resurgence of viability and profitability.  The issue has become an accomplishment frequently cited by Obama and his re-election campaign.

“Voters in Michigan will have a clear choice between Mitt Romney and the rest of the Republican field which wanted to let Detroit go bankrupt, and President Obama, who not only extended a loan and restructuring package that saved 1.4 million jobs up and down the auto supply chain,” DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse said in a statement.

GM and Chrysler have repaid much of the funds they received and preserved thousands of American jobs, but independent analysts say the bailout has cost taxpayers at least $14 billion because the stock the government received in exchange for the loans -- and later sold -- did not equal the value of the loans.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama, South Korean President to Tour GM Plant in Detroit

The White House/Pete Souza (DETROIT) -- President Obama will spend part of Friday with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Michigan, at a General Motors facility outside Detroit, where Obama will tout his multimillion dollar, taypayer-funded bailout of the auto industry and highlight trade between the two countries.

The Orion Township assembly plant makes the Chevrolet Sonic, the only subcompact car sold in the United States that is also built here.  The Sonic was originally engineered for GM Korea, but is now being assembled in Michigan.

During GM’s bankruptcy restructuring, the plant was scheduled to shut its doors. The subcompact joint venture with GM Korea saved the Orion plant and its 1,750 jobs, according to the White House.

The visit comes two days after Congress passed the long-delayed trade agreement with Korea, a deal that Lee praised Thursday as a “landmark” pact that, it's said, will create jobs in both countries.

The two leaders will tour the plant Friday and deliver remarks. Obama will return to the White House Friday afternoon.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House: No Comment on Union Leader’s Anti-Tea Party Rhetoric

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Despite President Obama’s repeated claims to change the tone in Washington, the White House had no comment Monday afternoon after Teamsters Union leader James Hoffa, speaking at an event before President Obama, said of Tea Party activists that, come November, Democrats should “take these sons of bitches out.”

Warming up the crowd before President Obama’s Labor Day speech in Detroit Monday afternoon, Hoffa warned the largely union crowd that the Tea Party was waging a “war on workers.”

“We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers.  And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party.  And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war.  The one thing about working people is we like a good fight.  And you know what?  They’ve got a war, they got a war with us and there’s only going to be one winner.  It’s going to be the workers of Michigan, and America.  We’re going to win that war,” Hoffa told thousands of workers gathered for the annual event organized by the Detroit Labor Council.

“President Obama, this is your army.  We are ready to march…Everybody here’s got a vote…Let’s take these sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong,” he concluded.

The Tea Party Express has called on President Obama to “condemn this inappropriate and uncivil rhetoric,” saying it “has no place in the public forum.”

“Jimmy Hoffa’s remarks are inexcusable and amount to a call for violence on peaceful tea party members, which include many Teamster members,” Tea Party Express chair Amy Kremer said in a written statement.

During the 2008 campaign, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., immediately rebuked talk radio host Bill Cunningham when he disparaged then-Sen. Obama in his opening remarks at a McCain campaign event.  Cunningham had fueled rumors that Obama was Muslim by repeatedly referring to him by his full name “Barack Hussein Obama.”

McCain immediately took responsibility and profusely apologized for Cunningham’s remarks.

Should President Obama do the same regarding Hoffa's comments about the Tea Party?  The president has repeatedly called for increased civility in American politics.

“Only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to the challenges of our nation,” the president said in January.

“I do believe there is hope for civility.  I do believe there’s hope for progress,” Obama said after last November’s midterm elections.

At the time, Obama admitted that he had neglected “some things that matter a lot to people,” including “maintaining a bipartisan tone in Washington,” and that he planned to “redouble my efforts to go back to some of those first principles.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio