Commentary: Pelosi tested by auto industry crisis

This editorial appeared in The Sacramento Bee.

Now we'll see what kind of leader House Speaker Nancy Pelosi really is.

When the Big Three automakers came to Washington two weeks ago asking for a $25 billion bailout, she sent them home to produce a credible plan for long-term economic viability.

Now they're back with plans in hand – but asking for $34 billion. General Motors and Chrysler say they need immediate cash infusions just to stay afloat until January – and billions more to stay afloat until March. Ford, in better financial shape, has said it has enough cash to make it through next year without assistance, though a collapse of either of the other two could threaten its survival.

While Pelosi is right that some government intervention will be necessary, there are options beyond bailout vs. liquidation. Pelosi should take the lead in exploring them. Unfortunately, so far she has parroted the automakers in taking options off the table.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Sacramento Bee.