After a week under the spotlights of Congressional testimony, the top brass from the Big Three automakers may be seeing a $15 billion short-term loan package as a pay-off for their efforts in contrition. The White House, Congressional leaders and the Obama Transition team are very close to a compromise that will speed progress on proposed emergency legislation to help the beleaguered automakers avoid shutdown and initiation of bankruptcy.
Senate Republicans, who have resisted a bailout for the automakers, signaled that they may not stand in the way of the legislation.
"I look forward to reviewing the legislation being drafted to address the difficulties in our auto markets," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement. "As we consider this legislation, our first priority must be to protect the hard-earned money of the American taxpayer."
A breakthrough on the bailout came late Friday, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) dropped her opposition to a White House proposal to tap an existing loan program to help the car companies survive the deepening recession. General Motors, Chrysler and Ford are seeking as much as $38 billion to help them stay afloat. GM executives have said that without government help, the company may not last the month.
Pelosi agreed to modify the loan program to provide GM and Chrysler with an immediate infusion of $15 billion to $17 billion, so long as the money is replenished and used for its original purpose: to spur the production of fuel-efficient vehicles.
full story at WashPo