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. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay

    Footballpreps

    1. Armwood (2-0)

    Up next: at Blake (Thursday)

    Armwood High School quarterback Devin Black (7) hands the ball off to running back Larry Anderson (13) during the Spring Football Jamboree in Seffner, Fla. on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
  2. Florida ethics board to hear Go Hillsborough complaint against Buckhorn, Hagan, Murman

    Blogs

    TAMPA — Two years after complaints accused Tampa and Hillsborough County elected leaders of steering a transportation contract to a politically connected firm, the state’s ethics police will finally hear the case.

    Florida Commission on Ethics will hear complaints next month against Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan, as well as Commissioner Sandy Murman.
  3. Don't expect to see protests in college football any time soon

    College

    The whispers have segued to chatter. In time, it may evolve into rumblings, or even a groundswell.

    Following the national anthem, helicopters fly over Ohio Stadium in a missing-man formation in tribute to John Glenn before a game between Army and Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch/TNS)
  4. AAA expects gas prices in Tampa Bay will continue to fall

    Autos

    Ticking slowly and steadily, regular gas prices have receded for the last 10 consecutive days. The average unleaded gas price in Florida is $2.67 this morning, a nickel cheaper than a week ago. In Tampa Bay, the current average unleaded gas has dropped 7 cents from a week ago to $2.62. The national average for regular …

    Gas prices for regular gas continue to decline. In Tampa Bay, the current average unleaded gas is down 7 cents from a week ago at $2.62 a gallon. [Times file photo]
  5. Restaurant review: Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights should focus on mom-and-pop pharmacy vibe

    Food & Dining

    By Laura Reiley

    Times Food Critic

    TAMPA

    Sometimes, the more time you have with a project, the more complicated it gets. I started hearing about Mortar & Pestle in Seminole Heights about 18 months ago. It was the vision of Ujwal Patel, a pharmacist;

    Mortar & Pestle opened in Seminole Heights in Tampa in August. [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]