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A 'TARP' to Cover Detroit

The White House has shifted from its original position to state that it now is willing to consider using bailout funds from the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, to keep the country’s top three automakers afloat. The announcement comes after negotiations in Congress to provide a $14-billion bailout to Detroit broke down.


The Washington Post:

The Bush administration said today it is willing to consider using funds from other sources to provide emergency aid to the nation’s Big Three car companies following the Senate’s rejection Thursday night of a congressional bailout plan.

The statement from White House spokeswoman Dana Perino marks a shift in tone for the administration, which has so far rejected the idea of using money from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program or other sources under its control to help the auto industry survive. After the collapse of negotiations in Congress, however, the White House said all options are on the table to help keep the automakers in business. GM and Chrysler have said they are in critical need of help, while Ford’s position is less dire.

“Under normal economic conditions we would prefer that markets determine the ultimate fate of private firms,” the White House statement said. “However, given the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, we will consider other options if necessary — including use of the TARP program — to prevent a collapse of troubled automakers.”

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