Time Short, Congress Tries to Seal Auto Deal

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Democratic congressional leaders are racing against time to seal a deal with the White House that would pull Detroit's Big Three automakers from the brink of collapse. And they've dispatched aides to hammer out details of an emergency $15 billion aid package.

Votes on the plan are expected in the week ahead.

According to congressional officials and others close to the talks, the emerging measure would speed short-term help to General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, while empowering the government to order a wholesale restructuring of the industry and imposing tight restrictions on the companies.

A breakthrough came Friday when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, yielded to President George W. Bush on a key point: allowing the aid to come from an existing fund set aside for the production of environmentally friendlier cars.

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