Paulson, Bernanke Defend Bailout Before House

Money for Detroit isn't the 'purpose' of the bailout: Paulson
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 18, 2008 11:00 AM CST
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, left, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke arrive on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008, to testify before the House Financial Services Committee.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Congress today he opposes tapping a $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout pool to help struggling US automakers. Paulson and Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke were on Capitol Hill defending their management of the bailout program, just a week after the Bush administration abandoned the original strategy behind the rescue.

Although having a US auto company fail during such a fragile time for the economy would not be a "good thing," Paulson told the House Financial Services Committee that he remains against diverting bailout money to Detroit. "I don't see this as the purpose" of the program, Paulson said, which he says is intended to stabilize jittery financial markets and get credit flowing freely again in order to revive the economy.