Emanuel: Obama backs auto aid

Nov. 9, 2008 at 8:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., who will be President-elect Barack Obama's White House chief of staff, said Sunday Obama favors government aid for the auto industry.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Emanuel said existing authority could be used to extend economic assistance to the auto industry, which is reeling under the credit crisis and a steep drop in sales.

"First the auto industry is an essential part of our economy and an essential part of our industrial base," Emanuel said. "Second, they should look at accelerating the $25 billion that was offered for re-tooling for the industry going forward."

Emanuel said Obama has asked his team of economic advisers to "look at different options at what it takes to help bridge the auto industry so not only are they a part of a revived economy but part of an energy policy where America is less dependent of foreign oil."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Saturday urged Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to review the federal economic rescue plan to determine whether it can provide "temporary assistance to the automobile industry during the current financial crisis."

General Motors Corp. said Friday its financial resources are rapidly dwindling and it might not have enough cash to operate in 2009.

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