White House Wants Auto Industry to Use Available Aid Funds

Says funds are already in Department of Energy loan program

The White House said on Nov. 17 that it did not want the U.S. auto industry to fail but stressed that it should use already available financing rather than new assistance funds.

"The auto industry is an important part of our manufacturing base, and we want the industry to succeed and compete in the global economy. This is why we are calling on Congress to take appropriate action this week to provide assistance," spokeswoman Dana Perino said. But she said new funds for aid were not the White House's preference.

"We believe this assistance should come from the program created by Congress that was specifically designed to assist the automakers -- from the $25 billion Department of Energy loan program," Perino said.

"We believe this is the appropriate funding to use for automakers rather than seeking an additional $25 billion from the TARP program. We should not seek additional funding while $25 billion sits available in a program that was designed for automakers," Perino said.

Under the TARP program the U.S. government intends to make cash injections available to troubled banks.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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