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McConnell Expects Large Stimulus Proposal From Obama

As city, county and state government leaders look for ways to close their budget shortfalls, they’re hoping that some help will come soon from Washington.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky says he expects the Obama adminstration to propose a large economic stimulus package, but he can’t speak to reports that there will be a bill in place for the new president to sign soon after he takes office.

“We go back in January the sixth to swear in new members and go into session, and they haven’t produced a plan yet,” McConnell said. “When they do produce it, I’ll let you know how I feel about it.”

Meanwhile, the lame duck session of Congress resumes this week, when lawmakers will debate a possible bailout for the nation’s domestic automakers.

McConnell said Friday he hadn’t decided which approach he’ll support.

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Beshear Urges U.S. To Help Automakers

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is calling on Congress and the White House to move quickly on an economic stimulus package that would include help for the sagging auto industry.

Governor’s spokesperson Jay Blanton says Kentucky’s economy is vitally linked to the industry.

“We’re now the third largest producer of automobiles in the country, behind only Michigan and Ohio and there’s some 80,000 jobs connected to the auto industry in Kentucky. And it’s becoming clear pretty quickly that these companies that have presences in Kentucky are hemmoraging dollars,” Blanton said.

General Motors and Ford both announced third quarter losses and more job cuts Friday amid plummeting sales.

Auto industry leaders have been meeting with government officials in Washington to discuss securing billions of dollars in low-interest loans.