Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

$15B deal is in works to rescue automakers

From left, Rick Wagoner of GM, Robert Nardelli of Chrysler and Alan Mulally of Ford testify Friday, seeking $38-billion in loans.

Associated Press

From left, Rick Wagoner of GM, Robert Nardelli of Chrysler and Alan Mulally of Ford testify Friday, seeking $38-billion in loans.

WASHINGTON — Stunned by the loss of 500,000 jobs, congressional Democrats and the White House neared agreement Friday on at least $15-billion in bailout loans to the beleaguered auto industry.

President Bush warned that at least one of the Big Three carmakers might not survive the current economic crisis.

A key breakthrough came when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bowed to Bush's demand that the aid come from a fund set aside for the production of fuel-efficient cars. Pelosi agreed to use the money instead to provide immediate cash to General Motors and Chrysler.

Without government help, GM executives have said their company may not survive the month.

Pelosi is insisting, however, that money pulled from the loan program be "replenished in a matter of weeks so as not to delay that crucial initiative," she said in a statement. The White House has yet to agree to those terms, Democrats said, and talks were scheduled to resume today.

The developments unfolded as auto executives pleaded for a second day with lawmakers for as much as $38-billion in loans to help them survive.

Pelosi's office issued a statement saying legislation would come to a vote in the House next week. The Senate is also scheduled to be in session to consider steps to aid Detroit's Big Three.

"Congress will insist that any legislation include rigorous and ongoing oversight to guarantee that taxpayers are protected and that resources are directed to ensure the long-term viability and competitiveness of the American automobile industry," Pelosi's statement said.

While congressional leaders have signed on to the broad outlines of the proposal, aides said there is no guarantee that a majority of lawmakers will climb aboard.

"There is great unhappiness among the rank and file," a Democratic leadership aide told the Washington Post. "We're hoping they're less unhappy now because the automakers have been more contrite."

Officials in both parties also said the legislation would include creation of a trustee or group of industry overseers to make sure the bailout funds are used by General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC for their intended purpose. The funds are designed to last until March, giving the incoming Obama administration and the new Congress time to consider the issue anew.

One senior Democratic aide told the Associated Press that Pelosi was seeking a provision that would bar the automakers from using any of the funds to pursue a legal challenge to states seeking to implement tougher auto emission standards. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the legislation was not yet drafted.

Bush said, "I'm concerned about those who work for the automobile companies and their families. And likewise, I am concerned about taxpayer money being provided to those companies that may not survive."

There were also fresh calls during the day for the Federal Reserve to come to the rescue of the Big Three, possibly in the form of low-cost loans.

GM said Friday it will cut about 2,000 jobs, bringing the year's total to 11,000.

$15B deal is in works to rescue automakers 12/05/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:58am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    Music & Concerts

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  2. Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, a former senator, dies at 85

    Ml

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jim Bunning, a former Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

    In this June 21, 1964 file photo, Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches a perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York.  The Phillies beat the Mets, 6-0.  Bunning retired all 27 batters who faced him in the first game of a doubleheader to become the first pitcher in 42 years with a perfect game in regular season play.   (AP Photo/File)
  3. Trump to decide next week whether to quit Paris climate agreement

    Environment

    TAORMINA, Italy —President Donald Trump declined to endorse the Paris climate accords on Saturday, saying he would decide in the coming days whether the United States would pull out of the 195-nation agreement.

    President Donald Trump, right, arrives to a G7 session with outreach countries in Taormina, Italy, on Saturday. Climate and trade were sticking points at the two-day summit in Taormina, Sicily. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)
  4. Suspect arrested in fatal shooting of Virginia special agent

    Crime

    RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia State Police special agent died Saturday after being shot by a man sitting in a car in Richmond, police said. The shooting suspect fled on foot, sparking an overnight manhunt that ended with the man's arrest about an hour after the agent's death.

    This image provided by the Virginia State Police shows law enforcement investigating the scene of a shooting early Saturday in Richmond, Va.   Special Agent Michael T. Walter, a Virginia State Police special agent died Saturday after being shot by a man sitting in a car in Richmond, police said. The shooting suspect fled on foot, sparking an overnight manhunt that ended with the man's arrest about an hour after the agent's death. Virginia State Police said in an emailed statement that Travis A. Ball of Richmond is being held without bond on charges that include malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. (Virginia State Police via AP)
  5. Mayor Rick Kriseman says St. Petersburg mayoral election is about going forward, not back

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally