February 16th, 2009
09:25 AM ET
13 years ago

White House braces for auto makers seeking federal funds

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As auto giants General Motors and Chrysler face Tuesday's deadline to submit plans to show the government how they can repay billions in federal loans, the White House is creating a Presidential Task Force on Autos to oversee the restructuring of the auto industry, a senior administration official said.

The task force will include members from the Departments of Treasury, Labor, Transportation, Commerce, and Energy, the National Economic Council (NEC), the White House Office of Energy and Environment, the Council of Economic Advisers and the Environmental Protection Agency, the official said.

It will be overseen by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and NEC Director Larry Summers.

Geithner will oversee the loan agreements with the automakers.

Teams at the Treasury Department and  the National Economic Council are working with the automakers and stakeholders to prepare for their Tuesday submissions, the official said.

From February 17 to March 31, "the auto companies and stakeholders are expected to show progress in meeting the restructuring goals set forth in their plans" the senior administration official said.

The adminstration would work with the automakers daily over the next two weeks on their strategies to repay their loans, the official said.

Despite weeks of speculation over whether the administration would
appoint a "car czar", the senior administration official said there would be none.

Ron Bloom, a nationally recognized restructuring expert, will join the
administration's team as a senior adviser at the Treasury Department, the senior administration official said.

Bloom is a former vice president of Lazard Freres & Company LLC, and is a former restructuring expert for labor for the U.S. Steelworkers.

The team will provide advice and analysis to Geithner and Summers about the auto industry.

Updated 9:25 a.m.

Full story

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. chitown lady

    Im sorry but....Let these auto makers go straight to HELL..... They have had how many years to straighten their companies out????? HOW MANY? They just sit there in there big officers flying about on their private jets. Thats their lives. Well, excuse me THIS IS MY LIFE.....Yeah see I lost my job mr hot shots....Its not my fault either, ITS CEOS like you guys...I balme all of you. And Barney Frank, Clinton and Dodd. While this economy was taking it huge nosedive, you all sat there and watched, Even whle people were telling you mopes that something was wrong VERY WRONG..... As far as you auto makers go, Maybe its time to get rid of the UNIONS? See I made a vow, NEVER TO BY AMERICAN AGAIN..You took away my hubby's job back in 1987....a job he had at that time for 17 yrs,,,YOU SOLD OUT TO MEXICO...Thats where a big chuck of EMD went too. CHEAPER LABOR...Well yeah know what....you can now MOVE ALL YOUR CRAP COMPANIES TO MEXICO...You have lost companies long ago. You never quite goit the concept of INNOVATION...CHANGE...UPBEAT..and NEW....And now you want more money...NO! I say NO! you have let the UNIONS run your companies...They tell you what to do rather then you tell them....The Unin has done your employess NO FAVORS...Other then to line their own pockets....I say the big THREE need to fend for themselves....After all, you cold never really compete with Honda or most overseas cars.....They are made better cost less and have kept up over the years..UNLIKE YOU AMERICAN CARS BULDERS.

    February 16, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. S Callahan

    Is it the stake (stock) holder or the workers that we are going forward to help these compaines with?

    February 16, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Obama 2.0

    Controled Bank-O is the only real solution at this point.

    February 16, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Larry Houston Texas

    I predict they will want billions more from the taxpayers, by the end of March, because they are already fighting with the U.A.W.
    the u.a.w. wants to continue to give money to their retirees, and everyone else that is related to them, with health benefits to them, til they die

    February 16, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Joe

    Let's see if they can build a few more Edsels!

    February 16, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. Hulio

    europeans drive small cars. americans don't get it do they ?

    February 16, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. Put an End to the Republican Reign Over the US

    DON'T DO IT!!!

    Tell the 'auto makers' to STOP making 100s of models of cars. Stick with the basics....1 sports car, 1 truck, 1 sedan and 1 station wagon/mini van. AND THAT'S IT.

    CUT DOWN on your AUTOMOBILES NOT your EMPLOYEES. RETRAIN THEM in HYBRID and other OIL FREE technologies.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!DON'T GIVE THEM ANY MORE MONEY UNTIL YOU HELP THE HOMEOWNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 16, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Dan from Kitchener

    It seems the idea is to get autoworkers to accept lower wages along with retirees who are likely receiving pensions well below the poverty line.

    I can't help but think if you keep lowering wages of people who are currently making around 50K a year it will eventually put a lot more people out of work as they simply won't be able to buy goods and services a lot of other small businesses have to offer.

    End result more small businesses will go under and less money will come into the government coffers and into the economy. Kinda dumb.

    February 16, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
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