Democrats, White House Seal Auto Aid Deal

Congressional Democratic leaders and the White House have finalized a deal to spend $15 billion on emergency loans for struggling U.S. automakers, officials said Wednesday.

Auto executives, from left, General Motors Chief Executive Officer Richard Wagoner, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, Ford Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally, and Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Robert Nardelli testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008, before a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the auto industry bailout. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional Democratic leaders and the White House have finalized a deal to spend $15 billion on emergency loans for struggling U.S. automakers, officials said Wednesday.

The measure could see a House vote later Wednesday and be enacted by week's end.

It would create a government "car czar" to dole out the loans, with the power to force the car-makers into bankruptcy if they didn't cut quick deals with labor unions, creditors and others to restructure their businesses and become viable.

Congressional Republicans, left out of negotiations on the package, are expressing grave reservations and may seek to block it.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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