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Automotive Bailout Finalized, Say Democratic Negotiators

December 10, 2008

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democratic negotiators and the Bush White House have finalized a deal that would approve a $15 billion bailout plan for the troubled automotive industry, the congressional officials said Wednesday.

The White House did not officially say the deal was final, but did report “very good progress.”

The legislation could be voted on by the House of Representatives later Wednesday and enacted by the week’s end. Some opposition still remains among Republican lawmakers and they may try to block the measure from passing.

The measure would allow Chrysler, Ford Motor Co., and General Motors Corp. to receive loans by Dec. 15.

Under the plan, the three automakers would have to show by March 31 that they have a viable, long-term plan before receiving any further money from Congress. The legislation would also establish an adviser to oversee the use of the government money and to verify that the three automakers are working toward long-term stability and viability.

The adviser would also coordinate a long-term plan with Detroit after the Big 3 have received assistance. If the adviser finds the companies are living up to their obligations, the three domestic car companies could receive further financial help.

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