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Bush, Treasury Still Mulling Bailout

December 16, 2008

WASHINGTON — A decision on a bailout for domestic automakers could come as soon as Thursday, as the Bush administration continues to mull over a plan to provide aid to ailing U.S. automakers, reported Reuters.

Last Friday, the Senate voted 52-35 against a House bill that would have provided $14 billion in loans to General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC and Ford Motor Co. The Big Three's next best hope is to tap the $350 billion remaining in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which the Bush Administration is considering. However, a bailout will not come without concessions, the AFP reported today.

"Obviously, this will not be a long process because of the ... fragility of the autos," Bush said Sunday. "Given the status of the financial system, an abrupt bankruptcy for the autos could be devastating for the economy. And therefore, we've tried to work with Congress to accomplish the objective of not cratering the economy as well as making sure good money doesn't go after bad."

The AFP quoted White House spokeswoman Dana Perino as saying the administration will need the automakers to become "viable, competitive firms in the future," and that all stakeholders will need to make concessions. She added that the administration is weighing all options and that there was no "imminent announcement."

GM is requesting $4 billion in loans to remain solvent through the month of December and another $4 billion in January. Chrysler's chief has asked for $4 billion to pay its bills through March. Ford has not sought immediate aid but did request a $9 billion line of credit on which to draw if its situation grows worse.

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