Pelosi supports new help for ailing US automakers

November 11, 2008 12:48:06 PM PST
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for "emergency and limited financial assistance" for the battered auto industry on Tuesday, to be completed within days in a postelection session of Congress. Five days after dismal financial reports from General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., Pelosi backed legislation to make the automakers eligible for help under the $700 billion bailout measure that cleared Congress in October.

In a written statement, the California Democrat said the aid was needed "in order to prevent the failure of one or more of the major American automobile manufacturers, which would have a devastating impact on our economy, particularly on the men and women who work in that industry."

"Congress and the Bush administration must take immediate action," she added.

The plight of the industry has drawn attention from the White House and the incoming Obama administration in recent days, as well as among lawmakers.

Last week, President-elect Obama prodded the Bush administration to do more to help the industry, and on Monday, he raised the issue with President Bush in an Oval Office conversation meant to underscore a smooth transition of power.

Officials familiar with the conversation said the president replied he was open to the idea.


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