GOP senators want veto power over bailouts

A group of Republican senators thinks Congress should be able to effectively veto bailouts for General Motors and other firms, and talked up legislation Wednesday to achieve that.

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) said that Congress should have a chance to vote on the bailouts for those companies, introducing an amendment that would allow lawmakers to scuttle administration plans to assist different industries.

The Johanns amendment, which he hopes to add to a piece of tobacco legislation, would only apply to instances in which the government gains a majority of the equity in a company.

"It basically says this: If the government is going to own portions, in this case, a majority of shares in a company, then Congress has the responsibility to review that matter," Johanns said at a press conference on Monday. "What I am proposing is that the Senate and the House would have the right to vote on that to determine if, in fact, that's the best course of action."

Johanns was joined at the press conference by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

Johanns lobbied even those who supported the bailout for GM to support his amendment, reasoning the law would still enable Congress to approve such a thing. Johanns's bill would apply retroactively, however, to allow senators to disapprove the GM bailout.