The House has approved a $25 billion lifeline to Detroit's battered auto industry, the Detroit Free Press reports. The package of low-interest loans to help automakers switch to manufacturing more fuel-efficient vehicles is expected to be approved by the Senate today and signed by the president soon after. Michigan lawmakers cheered the news, saying it would save thousands of jobs.
The deal dwarfs the $1.2 billion bailout of Chrysler in 1980, but it gained political support as $25 billion began to look trifling in comparison to the money spent to save financial firms. Michigan politicians—who plan to press for another $25 billion—bristled at the term "bailout," insisting that the deal is vital for America's interests and that, unlike the Wall Street giants, they plan to pay the money back.