House will help automakers – Pelosi

House will help automakers – Pelosi
House speaker says funds to rescue Detroit car companies should come from $700 billion bailout. Collision with Bush administration likely.

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Saturday the House would provide aid to the ailing U.S. auto industry, requiring that the industry meet new fuel-efficiency standards, produce advanced vehicles and restructure “to ensure their long-term economic viability.”

Pelosi, D-Calif., did not disclose the amount of funding House leaders intend to seek for the industry – automakers have been seeking $25 billion in loans to stabilize their sinking companies. But she said the funding should come from the $700 billion financial bailout approved by Congress in October.

“A restructured, competitive American automobile industry will continue to play a crucial role in our national economy and in the global marketplace,” Pelosi said in a statement.

The move sets up a conflict with the White House, which has opposed using the bailout funds to help General Motors Corp. (GM, Fortune 500), Ford Motor Co. (F, Fortune 500) and Chrysler LLC. The Detroit companies have been battered by an economic meltdown that has choked their sales and frozen credit. more

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