WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Bush administration will consider other options, if necessary, to prevent a collapse of troubled automakers Chrysler and General Motors, a White House spokeswoman said Friday, one day after the Senate failed to reach a compromise on a bailout plan.
"Under normal economic conditions we would prefer that markets determine the ultimate fate of private firms," Dana Perino said in a written statement.
"However, given the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, we will consider other options if necessary – including use of the TARP program (Troubled Asset Relief Program) - to prevent a collapse of troubled automakers.
"A precipitous collapse of this industry would have a severe impact on our economy, and it would be irresponsible to further weaken and destabilize our economy at this time."
"It is disappointing that while appropriate and effective legislation to assist and restructure troubled automakers received majority support in both houses, Congress nevertheless failed to pass final legislation.
"The approach in that legislation provided an opportunity to use funds already appropriated for automakers, and presented the best chance to avoid a disorderly bankruptcy while ensuring taxpayer funds go only to firms whose stakeholders were prepared to make the difficult decisions to become viable, competitive firms in the future.
"While the federal government may need to step in to prevent an immediate failure, the auto companies, their labor unions, and all other stakeholders must be prepared to make the meaningful concessions necessary to become viable," the statement said.