Congress Set to Discuss Auto Industry Bailout

The big three auto makers want Congress to help take the wheel. General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler all say, they need help , or they may be out of business.

Democrats are pushing to give Detroit a share of the 700-billion dollar bailout Congress has already passed. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says, "all it would take would be one stroke of a pen and that problem would be solved."

An auto bailout bill looks like it would pass the House -- but it could run into trouble when it gets to the Senate. Democrats there don't have the votes to pass it without help from the other party. That could be a tough sell. Many Republicans agree with the White House's call for Congress to speed up the delivery of money that's already set aside for the auto industry.

In a press conference, White House Press Secretary supported the Bush Administration's view, saying, "we want the auto-makers to succeed, and we support using an existing program to help them do so."

But, critics argue, that money was promised to help the big three pay for making their cars and trucks more fuel-efficient - not stay afloat. Lawmakers will hear Detroit's pleas in person Tuesday when top auto executives are scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill.

There's not much time for debate. G-M executives warn, with the way things are going the company could be out of cash by early next year.


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