Thursday, December 4, 2008

Automakers take Hill at 10 a.m. for showdown

Ken Thomas / Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- U.S. automakers are returning to Congress for high-stakes hearings they hope will persuade skeptical lawmakers to save their troubled industry with $34 billion in emergency aid, but a top Senate Democrat wants to hand their problem to the Federal Reserve.

Two weeks after a botched attempt on Capitol Hill, repentant leaders of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC were appealing to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday with three separate survival plans that include massive restructuring, the ditching of corporate jets and vows by CEOs to work for $1 a year.

But they could expect a chilly reception on Capitol Hill. Even a top Democrat in charge of evaluating their aid requests made it clear he was eager to avoid voting on a bailout. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, wrote to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday asking the central bank chief whether there was anything stopping him from using his considerable lending authority to help the automakers....more

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