Auto bailout prospects dim in partisan stalemate - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Auto bailout prospects dim in partisan stalemate


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Prospects for a bailout of U.S. automakers are fading as congressional Democrats and the Bush administration voice differences over where the money should come from.

  Senate Democrats say they'll press ahead with their plan to direct $25 billion from the $700 billion financial rescue to Detroit's Big Three.

  But several aides and lobbyists say, right now, it doesn't look like they have the votes to be able to get it through.

  The White House and congressional Republicans say the aid money should come from redirecting a $25 billion loan program that Congress approved in September.

  That was to help the industry develop more fuel-efficient vehicles.

  Majority Leader Harry Reid says he'll hold a test vote this week on a broad economic aid plan that would include spending on public works projects, aid to states, an extension of jobless aid, and the automaker loans.

  If that fails, he says he'll try a vote on the auto bailout and unemployment benefits.

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