Bush Announces Executive Order Advancing Loans To Auto Companies
“Allowing the auto companies to collapse is not a responsible course of action,” President Bush said.
The president berated the U.S. Congress for not doing enough to stave off the bankruptcies of the Big Three automakers. He explained that for the auto companies to go under was not an option, not just for the companies themselves, but for all the other jobs and industries that are reliant upon them.
Allowing the American auto companies to fail would be “an unacceptably painful blow to hardworking Americans” across the country, he said.
The rescue package will include a fund of $17.4 billion, most of it coming from the $700 billion bailout of the banking industry.
Bush also stated that the automakers must achieve viability and prove that they have straightened out by the end of March or be forced to return those funds to the U.S. Treasury Department.
“The time to make hard decisions to become viable is now, or the only option will be bankruptcy,” Bush said. “The automakers and unions must understand what is at stake and make hard decisions necessary to reform.”
A White House official said $13.4 billion of the money would be available this month and next, $9.4 billion for General Motors Corp. and $4 billion for Chrysler LLC. Both companies have publicly stated that they may go bankrupt if they don’t receive an immediate cash infusion. Ford Motor Co. has said that it does need help right now.
“The American people want the auto companies to succeed, and so do I,” Bush said.