Agreement has been reached between the White House and congressional Democrats to offer the U.S. auto industry a $14 billion emergency package aimed at keeping the Big Three going until spring. Also, in the grand tradition of state socialism, the deal includes a new auto “czar” to oversee the restructuring of Detroit.

The L.A. Times:

The White House said this morning it had finalized a deal with congressional Democrats to provide $14 billion in emergency loans to U.S. automakers with strict oversight that would require restructuring plans or bankruptcy by the spring.

“It’s a bill that provides bridge financing to one of two possibilities … fundamental restructuring or bankruptcy,” said Joel Kaplan, White House deputy chief of staff for policy. “We wanted to make sure it was tough and that this was not a bridge financing to nowhere.”

The legislation, which House Democrats finished drafting this morning, would create a presidentially appointed monitor, or auto czar, to negotiate the restructuring of any companies that take the money. General Motors and Chrysler both have said they need government money to survive until March 31.

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