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Tentative bailout deal reached

2008-12-10 07:19

Washington - The White House and congressional Democrats on Tuesday night reached an agreement in principle on a $15 billion proposal for bailing out US automakers, officials said.

A Bush administration official and a Democratic leadership aide said the accord covered key points but a few final details still needed to resolved and put in writing.

Democrats have arranged to have the US House of Representatives vote on a bill as early as Wednesday and send it to the Senate for consideration.

President Bush and President-elect Barack Obama were both urged by a key Democrat to help rally support by Democrats and Republicans for the pending measure.

"Bipartisan hard work has paid off," said Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, whose home state headquarters General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC.

"I understand an agreement has been reached," Levin said in a statement.

The bailout is designed to allow GM and Chrysler to avert threatened bankruptcy through March with short-term loans. Ford Motor Co is not requesting immediate help but would like a line of credit in case its finances worsen.

The parties agreed last week that the money would come from an Energy Department fund established in September to help Detroit make more fuel efficient cars.

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