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Battle over auto bail-out leaves Wisconsin workers wondering

Washington's tug-of-war with the auto industry leaves thousands of Wisconsin jobs hanging in the balance.

Companies that make vehicle parts employ around 11,000 people in the Badger State alone, not to mention the hundreds of Wisconsin workers at GM in Janesville, Chrysler in Kenosha, and Ford in St. Paul.

Today, the heads of the big-three automakers will testify in favor of a bill by Senate Democrats to use money from the Wall Street bail-out package to save the domestic car industry.

It's a bill the Bush administration is suggesting it will oppose.

But Harry Stratton, a parts supplier in Glendale, says something must happen to keep the industry going - but it's more important to ease consumer credit, so more folks can start buying cars again.

Stratton says the automakers will keep bleeding cash until consumers can get loans for their products again.

Today, U.S. Senate Republican Norm Coleman of Minnesota will meet with a Ford

vice president about the impact of a bail-out on Ford's St. Paul plant which makes Ranger pick-ups.

Also, the owners of Chrysler dealers will lobby in Washington for a bail-out.

Andy Palmen has four dealerships in Racine and Kenosha that employ 200 people.

He'll tell lawmakers that it was Wall Street's greed that caused the problems and not the auto industry itself.