Bush administration officials and auto executives worked Monday to try to seal a deal for a multibillion-dollar industry bailout, amid hopes that the money could be available this week.
“It seems like the planets are becoming aligned,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), co-chairman of the Congressional Auto Caucus, who added that administration officials indicated to him that an announcement was likely by Wednesday.
By Jim Puzzanghera
The Los Angeles Times
General Motors Corp. and Chrysler have said they are near bankruptcy, and they have crucial payments due Jan. 2 to many auto part suppliers. With the holidays approaching, the Bush administration and the auto companies would need time even after a deal is completed to process the money, Upton said.
“It has to get done in the next day or two,” he said.
President Bush said his administration was moving quickly.
“This will not be a long process, because of the economic . . . fragility of the autos,” he told reporters late Sunday aboard Air Force One during his trip to Iraq and Afghanistan. The size of an emergency loan package and what strings the government would attach remained unclear Monday as officials reviewed the complex finances of GM and Chrysler.
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