Biden: 'We don't know' if White House can help Detroit

WASHINGTON Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:48pm EDT

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks regarding foreign policy at New York University in New York, April 26, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks regarding foreign policy at New York University in New York, April 26, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is looking for ways to help the city of Detroit after the city filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday, but Vice President Joe Biden said it was unclear what the administration could do.

"Can we help Detroit?" Biden said on Friday in a response to a question from a reporter. "We don't know."

Detroit, a former manufacturing powerhouse and cradle of the U.S. automotive industry, filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection on Thursday, making it the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

White House spokesman Jay Carey dismissed a question of whether there could be a government bailout for the city, but shed little light on other "policy options" under consideration.

"I would point you to what we have said and what leaders in Michigan and Detroit have said, which is that on the matter of their insolvency, that's something for the city and the creditors to resolve," he told reporters.

Top White House officials talking to the city and state have included Valerie Jarrett, Obama's senior adviser, Gene Sperling, the head of the National Economic Council, and Shaun Donovan, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Carney said.

President Barack Obama made saving the automotive industry in Detroit a priority of his first term.

"We're concerned, obviously, about the citizens of Detroit and of the state, and continuing to assist Detroit in moving forward," Carney said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton and Steve Holland; editing by Christopher Wilson and Jackie Frank)

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Comments (27)
Gabowski wrote:
Oh please! We shouldn’t have bailed out the banks or GM and we shouldn’t bail out poorly managed cities. This whole country is going down if we don’t stop this nonsense. No I’m not for supporting Middle Eastern nations either.

Jul 19, 2013 1:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Dr_Steve wrote:
I know: No!

Jul 19, 2013 1:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Mickelenische wrote:
Sure the White House can help Detroit. The Prez controls the nuclear launch codes. He can release a dozen 150-330 kT warheads and do a great urban renewal project on Detroit. Might suck to be downwind in the fallout cloud in Toledo, but sacrifices will have to be made.

Jul 19, 2013 1:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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