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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #1
(the title ^ probably should of been "agrees to")

Auto Bailout Approved - (video) -
Auto bailout to include billions in short-term loans, with CNBC's Phil LeBeau...
one of headlines on video: "NYT: Bailout to include billions in short-term loans"

Democrats Set to Offer Loans for Carmakers - NYTimes

Published: December 5, 2008

WASHINGTON — Faced with staggering new unemployment figures, Democratic Congressional leaders said on Friday that they were ready to provide a short-term rescue plan for American automakers, and that they expected to hold a vote on the legislation in a special session next week.

Seeking to end a weeks-long stalemate between the Bush administration and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, senior Congressional aides said that the money would most likely come from $25 billion in federally subsidized loans intended for developing fuel-efficient cars...

White House, Democrats reach deal on $15 billion auto aid -
Fri Dec 5, 9:22 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic leaders and the White House reached a deal to provide billions of dollars in relief to the ailing U.S. auto industry, a senior congressional aide told Reuters on Friday.

The package, which Democratic leaders hope to win passage of next week and send to President George W. Bush, totals between $15 billion and $17 billion, the aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The amount is far less than the $34 billion requested this week by General Motors, Ford Motor, and Chrysler, but Democratic leaders believe the money will keep them going until Barack Obama replaces Bush as president on January 20 and a new effort can be made for a rescue plan.

(Reporting by Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Gary Hill)

continuing additions--------------------------
A deal, with conditions, clears big hurdle - Detroit Free Press

By Justin Hyde and Todd Spangler • Free Press Washington Staff • December 5, 2008

UPDATED AT 8:20 PM: WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Bush administration cleared a major hurdle late today to granting aid for Detroit’s struggling auto industry as soon as next week, but many details for a short-term rescue remained in flux.
Click Here

Pelosi said today she had dropped her opposition to borrowing money from a $25-billion program to retool plants for advanced fuel-efficient vehicles to give automakers immediate aid. Pelosi and other Democrats had called on the Bush administration to use money from the $700-billion financial industry bailout, which the administration opposed.

“We will not permit any funds to be borrowed from the advanced technology program unless there is a guarantee that those funds will be replenished in a matter of weeks,” said Pelosi, D-Calif.

A Pelosi spokesman denied there was a deal with the White House on how much money to loan the auto companies.

Whether such a deal could pass the Senate likely would hinge on other conditions set on the automakers and the amount of the loans included. Lawmakers and their staffers had planned to work through the weekend on another version of industry salvation — one that likely would grant about $14 billion to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, just enough to bank on their survival through the end of March.

Any such deal was likely to place a host of conditions on the automakers, along with requirements that they either prove progress toward revamping their business or accept collapse.

The Senate is to reconvene Monday, while House leaders said they would return Tuesday, with leaders in both promising to take a vote next week.

The hearings have made it clear that “Congress must work on a bipartisan basis to provide short-term and limited assistance to the automobile industry while it undertakes major restructuring,” Pelosi said.

Coming the same day as a report showing the U.S. economy shedding 533,000 jobs in November — the largest such loss in 34 years — key officials said ignoring the industry’s pleas was no longer possible.

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said there was “a lot more feeling that we should do something today.”

“A failure to some extent of three of our major domestic manufacturing entities would be a very serious problem in any case,” Frank said. “In the midst of the worst economic situation since the Great Depression, it would be an unmitigated disaster.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said any deal would need Republican support to pass; most bills need 60 votes of support to avoid a filibuster.

Reid also warned the industry that it would not get a “blank check” — a reflection of the anger in Congress over the loose terms given to financial firms as part of their $700-billion bailout.

“It should never have come to this. The auto companies dug themselves into this hole and for years did nothing to climb out of it,” Reid said in a statement.

“This week’s hearings have made clear that we cannot let these companies fail. We cannot afford the risks of these companies going bankrupt when our economy already faces the highest job loss in a generation, and we are a year into a devastating recession.”

President George W. Bush said today he was concerned about the industry and the economic recession, but also was worried about protecting taxpayers’ money.

“It is important that Congress act next week on this plan,” Bush said. “And it’s important to make sure that taxpayers’ money be paid back if any is given to the companies.”

The heads of Detroit’s automakers and the UAW made their fourth plea to Congress for immediate aid, with GM seeking $12 billion in loans and a $6-billion line of credit , Chrysler asking for $7 billion in loans and Ford Motor Co. pursuing a $9-billion line of credit.

Underlying their plight, GM and Chrysler officials said their companies had hired outside experts about the prospects of bankruptcy before rejecting it as an option. GM also said today it would lay off an additional 2,000 factory workers next year, citing plunging U.S. sales.

But it was clear early in today’s hearing that the $34 billion was off the table for now.

“I do not sense that Congress has an appetite right now to do that,” said Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa. “I think you’re skating on extremely thin ice. I think what you’re going to have to do is you have to come up with a plan for success.”

Kanjorski and other lawmakers suggested Congress could provide the short-term funding GM and Chrysler need to survive to March — $4 billion for Chrysler and $10 billion for GM — while giving Congress, the Obama administration and automakers time to work on the industry’s restructuring plans.

Automakers and several lawmakers said they favor setting up some kind of industry overseer with broad powers to force negotiations on concessions from investors, workers and dealers.

But several lawmakers questioned whether helping automakers would set off a march of industries to Washington seeking relief from the economy.

“Nobody in this room wants to see the Big Three fail,” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas. “What hasn’t changed is that every industry, every industry in America is hurting today.”

Several mentioned that the automakers were facing far stricter conditions for much less aid than what had been demanded of financial firms as part of their $700-billion bailout.

All three of the chief executives pledged to Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., that they would not attempt to change the terms of the aid if they received it.

“Citibank and AIG got relief over a weekend. Congress didn’t find out,” Bachus said. “There seems to be a glaring double standard.”

A couple of lawmakers also pressed the automakers to make concessions on environmental debates as part of any aid, by either speeding up the rollout of more efficient models or dropping opposition to state-by-state global-warming gas limits on cars and trucks.

Detroit’s automakers and foreign firms are united in opposition to such rules, arguing that state-by-state rules will add expense and complexity to their models and create unwieldy limits on sales.

“Why in the world should my constituents provide $38 billion in loans for your companies if you continue to attempt to undo laws we’ve adopted in our states,” asked Rep. Carolyn Maroney, D-N.Y., noting money the automakers seek for their finance arms. “Wouldn’t that be equivalent to giving you money to sue us?”

All three pledged not to use the money on legal bills, but also did not agree to drop their opposition, saying they preferred nationwide limits — even if they are uniformly tougher.

As lawmakers huddled to craft details, the stumbling block over where aid might come from remained.

The plan favored by Bush and Michigan’s two senators that would have shifted $25 billion in retooling loans was undercut today by a Congressional Budget Office study saying the bill would only make $7.5 billion in loans available. But Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the bill could be reworked so that a majority of the $25 billion would be available.

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Livonia, suggested that the two sides split the difference, drawing half of the money from the retooling and half from the bailout pool. He said he was heartened that Congress and the White House appeared committed to some kind of help, even if little progress had been made so far.

“It’s ugly. It’s sausage-making,” McCotter said. “But it is continuing.”

Contact JUSTIN HYDE at 202-906-8204 or [email protected]. Free Press staff writer Katie Merx contributed to this report.

Mercury C557
22,734 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Re: Congress "agrees to" Big 3 funds

Lawmakers close to deal on carmaker bailout - MarketWatch

Last update: 10:52 a.m. EST Dec. 6, 2008Comments: 654SAN
FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The broad outlines of a deal to bail out the failing U.S. auto industry have been agreed on between Congressional Democrats and the White House.

Congressional leaders will work through the weekend with the Bush administration to try and reach a final accord to provide emergency financial relief to the big three car makers, aides said. A vote on a proposal could come as early as Tuesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., spoke to White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten about the need for a bail out of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLP, said one senior congressional aide.

"I expect that legislation will be brought up for a vote in the House next week," House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement late Friday.

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he hoped his chamber would also vote on a bailout in a lame duck session, and pressured Republicans to help push the rescue bill through.

"We aim to have votes next week on a responsible plan to help the millions of Americans who rely on a healthy auto industry for their livelihoods," Reid said in a statement.

"We will need support and cooperation from Republicans to determine when that vote happens and whether it will succeed," Reid said.

"This week's hearings have made clear that we cannot let these companies fail."

Details of any rescue package including how much money would be provided to the three companies and the terms that would be attached to any assistance have yet to be worked out.

The three companies are asking for a total of $38 billion in loans from the federal government to allow them to survive the current financial meltdown.
On Saturday, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, "We have had constructive discussions with members of Congress from both houses, and both sides of the aisle."

"We hope to continue to make progress toward assistance for the automakers based on important principles", she said, "that taxpayer assistance only be considered for companies willing to make the difficult decisions across the scope of their businesses to be viable and competitive in the future; that taxpayer assistance should come from funds already appropriated in the program specifically intended to assist automakers - the auto loan program; and that assistance is accompanied by very strong taxpayer protections. Taxpayers should not be asked to finance assistance for automakers without a strong likelihood that they will be paid back."

Shocking Labor Department figures released Friday showing the loss of 533,000 U.S. jobs in November seemed to force the hand of congressional leaders locked in a showdown with the White House over how to finance a rescue plan.

The announcement of congressional votes came after U.S. President George W. Bush demanded Congress act on the bailout. But he did not offer a proposal to ease a row with Democrats on the source of the funding.
Last week, House Financial Services committee chairman Barney Frank said in a hearing involving the auto bosses that Congress invited "disaster" if it did not act.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally was asked whether the failure of one of the Big Three could result in the demise of its competitors.

"If one of us goes in, it has the potential to take all of us in," he said.
GM boss Rick Wagoner and Chrysler chief Robert Nardelli also renewed pleas for help before the House panel, following six hours of similar testimony to a Senate hearing on Thursday.

Democrats had called on the White House to tap an already approved $700 billion finance industry aid plan known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) to rescue the firms.

But the Bush administration insists the money should come from diverting $25 billion in loans to the industry designed to spur development of fuel-efficient vehicles.

After Thursday's Senate Banking committee hearing Democratic Senator Chris Dodd had said he would work to broker an 11th-hour deal.
"Nothing concentrates the mind like a death sentence," Dodd said.
Some lawmakers say the cash-strapped firms should use bankruptcy protection to restructure, but executives say such a move would kill consumer confidence in their products.

The bosses appeared at acrimonious hearings two weeks ago but were sent back to Detroit to retool their restructuring programs.

The new plans include cuts in jobs and costs, the sale of subsidiaries, and the demise of unprofitable models.

They also pledged to develop cars that run on new-generation fuels, and to submit their restructuring to a federal oversight board.

United Auto Workers chief Ron Gettelfinger warned Thursday that time was short.

"I believe that we could lose GM by the end of the month," he said.
GM Thursday requested a second $4 billion loan by January in addition to an already requested immediate $4 billion rescue payment.

The firm wants a total of $12 billion in short-term loans and a $6 billion line of credit.

Ford wants a $9 billion line of credit and Chrysler says it needs $7 billion by Dec. 31.

Mercury C557
22,734 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Sen. Shelby (R-Ala) threatens to filibuster Big 3 funds

Shelby Threatens Filibuster Over Auto Bailout Deal - CBSnews
By John Bresnahan
Dec 7, 2008

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, threatened to filibuster any auto bailout deal that reaches the Senate floor during the next week.

During an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Shelby called a Big Three bailout "a bridge loan to nowhere." Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are considering a $15 billion "bridge loan" to keep GM, Ford and Chrysler operating until next spring...

...Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), a leading ally of the Big Three on Capitol Hill, predicted there will be an agreement "in 24 hours," but he would not predict whether it would get Senate approval.

"I think they're very close to a deal, I think there will be a deal and that will happen in 24 hours," Levin told host Chris Wallace. "Obviously, that's a much more complicated question of whether the votes are there. What I'm confident of is that a bill will be introduced."


it should be stated (frequently imho), that Senator Shelby's state of Alabama is home to Hyundai, Nissan & Mercedes factories (per post 19 in this GMI thread)
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