US auto industry bail out plan stalled

New York, December 9:

Differences between the White House and Congressional leaders over who should appoint a ‘car tsar’ to oversee a restructuring of the US automotive industry are holding up a $15 billion bail-out of General Motors and Chrysler. But the White House said broad agreement had been reached on handing short-term loans to GM and Chrysler.

“It sounds like we have agreement on principles that the president could sign,” said the press secretary, Dana Perino. However, a source familiar with the talks said the oversight issue was the main hurdle to completing a proposal. The White House is reportedly demanding the creation of a ‘financial viability adviser’ in the department of commerce to oversee a restructuring plan. Senior Democrats, on the other hand, want the government to be represented by a seven-member board. The ‘car tsar’ is also expected to coordinate

a more comprehensive bail-out package that will encompass Ford, the final member of the ‘big three’ Detroit manufacturers. Including the short-term loan to GM and Chrysler until the end of March, the big three are asking for $34 billion.