Follow Us

Auto Bailout, Foreign Plants, and Senate Votes

by

The auto bailout vote split along both partisan and regional lines, which in turn exposed the regional rivalry of Southern-located foreign auto plants and Northern-located domestic auto plants. The Clarion-Ledger posted an interactive map to their web site showing the locations of foreign and domestic auto plants in Southern states. The votes of the Southern senators with foreign auto plants in their respective states reflects this, as Kagro X shows at Congress Matters:

Kentucky: McConnell, yes on banks, no on cars; Bunning, no on both. Texas: Hutchison, yes on banks, no on cars; Cornyn, yes on banks, not voting on cars. Georgia: Chambliss and Isakson both yes on banks, no on cars. Louisiana: Vitter, no on both; Landrieu, no on banks, yes on cars. Tennessee: Alexander, yes on banks, not voting on cars; Corker, yes on banks, no on cars.

Similarly, we can look at the Northern manufacturing states (represented by at least one Republican) and see a similar effect:

Kansas: Sam Brownback (R-KS) voted No on banks, Yes on cars. Pat Roberts (R-KS) voted No on banks, No on cars. Missouri: Kit Bond (R-MO) voted Yes on banks, Yes on cars. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) voted Yes on banks, Yes on cars. Indiana: Evan Bayh (D-IN) voted Yes on banks, Yes on cars. Richard Lugar (R-IN) voted Yes on banks, Yes on cars. Pennsylvania: Arlen Specter (R-PA) voted Yes on banks, Yes on cars. Bob Casey (D-PA) voted Yes on banks, Yes on cars. Ohio: George Voinovich (R-OH) voted Yes on banks, Yes on cars. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) voted Yes on banks, Yes on cars.

Both Republican Maine senators voted for the auto bailout, although they don't hail from a Rust Belt state.

Also, some interesting information from the Center for Responsive Politics: while auto union money went heavily to those voting Yes, total auto industry contributions (automakers, manufacturers, dealers, and unions) still favored those voting No.