Auto Giants Press Congress for $25B Loan

Credit pinch, oil prices could cost thousands of jobs, execs say
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Sep 18, 2008 9:43 AM CDT
The Beat by General Motors is seen at a Detroit auto show. American auto companies say higher oil and commodity prices, coupled with the credit pinch, are hurting them.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The CEOs of US auto giants seem to have convinced some in Congress they, too, need billions in federal loans, the Detroit Free Press reports, though it’s uncertain if they’ll get the $25 billion they’re asking for. High oil and commodity prices and tightened credit threaten jobs in an already ailing industry, the heads of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler told lawmakers yesterday.

Last year, only models 25% more fuel-efficient than competitors’ qualified for federal aid; automakers want that restriction loosened to 10%. With support from both presidential candidates, the idea—likely be included in a budget resolution to be considered next week—faces little opposition. “It's extremely important we try to do something,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, calling the loan's cost, at $7.5 billion, “small change.”