US government stalls on support for car firms

25 November 2008
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25 November 2008 | Jake Kanter

The US Senate and Congress have refused to commit to a $25 billion (£16.6 billion) support package for the country's "big three" motor firms until they have "more detail" on how the money will be used.

Last week leaders from Chrysler, Ford and General Motors appealed for government financial assistance at Congressional hearings. In addition, a group of 98 suppliers wrote to the Senate and House of Representatives requesting a support package (News, 27 November).

After the hearings, house speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Harry Reid said the government needs more information on how the manufacturers will use the backing to secure financial stability in the future.

"Until we can see a plan where the auto industry is held accountable, and a plan for viability on how they go into the future, we cannot show them the money," said Pelosi.

The three firms have been asked to submit new proposals by 2 December and Congress will reconvene on 8 December. The carmakers "welcomed" the opportunity to present another round of plans and stated their aim to return to profitability.

Pelosi added: "We hope to see a plan that can take us into the future with accountability to the American people before we spend another dollar of their taxes."

SMnov2008

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