(CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama has kept a relatively low profile as automakers plead for billions from Congress, but behind the scenes, the incoming administration is working hard on finding ways to ease the crisis.
Obama and his advisers are studying options for helping the automobile industry beyond what Congress does or doesn't do before he steps into office.
Talks in Congress have included mention of a possible short-term loan for the auto giants to act as a Band-Aid until lawmakers can hammer out a long-term plan when the new Congress begins next year. Other lawmakers have suggested that bankruptcy could be a good thing for the automakers.
CEOs for the Big Three are trying to make their case for a $34 billion loan.
Despite what may happen in the coming weeks, there's no indication that the problem will be solved before Obama steps into office. While the president-elect has largely stayed silent on the issue, he has signaled that one option is off the table.
"We can't allow the auto industry simply to vanish," he said last week.