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Auto reports hint government help is critical to survival

Bigger automaker bailout brews; industry urges quick action to protect jobs

WASHINGTON -- The chief executives of the Detroit's automakers and the UAW president are to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today to discuss the possibility of a second $25-billion loan to the companies, as General Motors Corp. prepares to report financial results Friday that will sound new alarms about the industry's need for aid.

The meeting among Pelosi and industry leaders likely will pave the way for Congress to include new loans and perhaps other aid in a new economic stimulus plan, but that could be delayed by political maneuvering until after the inauguration of Democratic President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 21.

As the automakers hailed Obama on Wednesday, they also resumed calls for fast and substantial economic help that could save thousands of jobs.

The industry, which earlier in the week reported the worst sales month in 25 years, received some good news Wednesday when the Bush administration announced the rules for the first round of $25 billion in loans aimed at retooling plants, pledging to speed the money to automakers as quickly as it could.

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Auto reports hint government help is critical to survival | | Detroit Free Press
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