The White House said Friday it will consider using money from the Wall Street bailout fund to help keep the U.S. auto industry afloat and prevent it from collapsing. This announcement came after the Senate refused to pass the $14 billion rescue bill endorsed by President Bush and congressional Democrats, the AP reports.
"The current weakened state of the economy is such that it could not withstand a body blow like a disorderly bankruptcy in the auto industry," said Dana Perino, White House press secretary.
President Bush had originally refused to use the Wall Street bailout fund to help the Big Three automakers, insisting that help come from Congress. But the White House said it must reconsider after the Senate failed to agree on a rescue plan.
“Congress spoke last night,” Perino said. “They don’t have the votes to do anything. They didn’t get it over the goal line and so we have to consider what other options we would take.”
In Detroit, United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger said he was confident that a solution to the auto industry’s financial crisis will emerge in Washington despite the Senate’s defeat of a bailout bill, reports the AP. Gettelfinger blamed the defeat of the auto industry bailout bill on southern Senators who he said are anti-union and anti-Detroit.