Congress, White House Talking $15B Auto Bailout

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ There's been a breakthrough in getting government aid to the beleaguered U.S. auto industry.

Several officials say the White House and congressional Democrats have agreed on $15 billion in bailout loans for Detroit, less than half of what the car chiefs were seeking.

Officials in both parties say the breakthrough came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bowed to a demand by the president. The money
would come out of an already approved fund that was supposed to go
toward production of more fuel-friendly cars. Pelosi says that fund
will be replenished ``within a matter of weeks.''

She also says in a statement that bailout legislation will include ``rigorous and ongoing oversight.''

The $15 billion is designed to keep GM, Ford and Chrysler humming until March, with the assumption that the new president and new Congress will revisit the issue.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)