By Michael O'Brien - 08/01/09 05:05 PM EDT
McCain said he would filibuster the bill, expected to be considered by the Senate next week, that would redirect $2 billion in energy loans for auto companies into the program.
"Within a few weeks we will see that this process was abused by speculators and people who took advantage of what is basically a huge government subsidy of corporations that they already own," McCain told Fox News, which reported the former 2008 GOP presidential candidate was prepared to create roadblocks to the legislation that amount to a filibuster.
"I can't imagine that any taxpayer of America would have thought that the [Troubled Assets Relief Program], the financial recovery money, would be used now to subsidize the sale of automobiles in America," McCain added.
McCain will lead what could be a bipartisan effort to block the bill. Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillWatchdog faults Energy Department over whistleblower retaliation Wagner passes on NRCC bid, backs Stivers Senate Dem: Trump will pick 'handsome' Pence MORE (D-Mo.) used her Twitter page Friday to say she would oppose more funding.
Two of the program's initial backers in the Senate have also sent signals that there may need to be tweaks to the voucher program before an extension wins their vote.
"We believe that Congress needs this information immediately in order to evaluate the program's effectiveness in attaining its two goals of stimulating automobile sales and reducing oil consumption," Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinHotel lobby cheers scrutiny on Airbnb GOP platform attempts middle ground on encryption debate Week ahead: Encryption fight poised to heat up MORE (D-Calif.) and Susan CollinsSusan CollinsThe Trail 2016: Words matter Lobbyists bolting Trump convention early GOP sen at convention: I'm not ruling out voting for Clinton MORE (R-Maine) wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Without strong data on the effectiveness of the program, it will be more difficult for Congress to evaluate and improve the current program."