Auto Bailout Must Be Paid Back: Bush

Bush supports some aid, but it must be done his way, he warns Dems
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 5, 2008 12:14 PM CST
President George W. Bush makes a statement on the economy, Friday, Dec. 5, 2008, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Using the word "recession" for the first time to describe the US economy, President Bush today demanded that Congress adopt his approach to an auto bailout and require car companies to pay back any federal aid. But he displayed skepticism about the wisdom of new aid, saying he is concerned that some of Detroit's Big Three automakers may not survive.

So while urging Congress to act next week to help the battered industry, Bush encouraged the Democratic-controlled Congress to follow his plan. The president supports adjusting an existing $25 billion loan program for the automakers, so that the money would be available more quickly and for more urgent needs than its original long-term purpose of helping to retool factories to produce more energy-efficient cars.