WASHINGTON — The prospects of a $14 billion government rescue of the American auto industry seemed to vaporize Thursday morning as the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, spoke out forcefully against the bill, effectively dooming its chances despite the urgings of the White House.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Mr. McConnell said he and other Republicans had drawn a clear distinction between the Treasury’s $700 billion economic stabilization, which they helped pass in October, and the proposal to aid the American automakers, which he said raised questions about which industries or individuals deserve help.
“A lot of struggling Americans are wondering where their bailout is,” Mr. McConnell declared. Although Mr. McConnell voiced support of an alternative plan that was developed by Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, it seemed unlikely that there was any possibility of compromise at this late point in the year, although some Congressional aides still expressed hope and said talks would continue.
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