Industry experts say they fear at least one of the three Detroit automakers will fail if a bailout isn't passed when Congress returns to Washington next week for its lame-duck session, The New York Times reported Friday.
Despite opposition at the White House and among congressional Republicans, Democratic leaders said they may move ahead with efforts to provide $25 billion in emergency aid for the car companies.
The $25 billion package would be in addition to the already-passed $25 billion in low-interest loans to help automakers retool their facilities to make more fuel-efficient cars. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and President George Bush expressed reluctance to use funds from the $700 Wall Street bailout, saying the package was passed to help financial institutions.
"The financial situation facing the Big Three is not a national problem, but their problem," said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee.
A General Motors spokesman said automakers are "ready and willing" to work with Congress.
"We hope all parties recognize there's a pressing need to preserve the domestic auto industry and the jobs and nation's competitiveness that's tied to the industry," GM spokesman Greg Martin told the Times.