November 17, 2008 / 11:30 PM / 11 years ago

White House opposes Senate Democrats' auto bailout bid

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)(2nd R) makes a statement beside newly elected Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR)(L), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)(R) and Kay Hagan (D-NC), on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 17, 2008. . REUTERS/Jim Young

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday opposed Senate Democrats’ proposal for a $25 billion bailout for the U.S. auto industry and urged instead that aid be provided through government loans already appropriated for the industry by Congress.

“We’re surprised that Senate Democrats would propose a bailout that fails to require automakers to make the hard decisions needed to restructure and become viable,” White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said, reaffirming the administration’s position.

“It would add another $25 billion to the $25 billion already allocated for the auto industry, raiding the TARP of funds needed to stabilize our financial system and encourage new lending to help our economy grow,” she said in a statement.

“Congress should instead accelerate the existing $25 billion already appropriated for the auto industry by amending the Energy Department’s loan program, but only for those firms that make the difficult choices and do the restructuring necessary to become viable without additional taxpayer subsidies,” Perino added.

Editing by Carol Bishopric

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