Detroit cardinal urges quick action on loans for auto industry

DETROIT (CNS) — Cardinal Adam J. Maida of Detroit emphasized the need for urgent government action to allocate at least enough money to help Detroit’s automakers stay afloat until a more comprehensive assistance package can be worked out in the new year. “People in households throughout southeast Michigan and all across the country are counting on our lawmakers and leaders to help stabilize the domestic auto industry,” the cardinal said Dec. 16. There was widespread anticipation President George W. Bush would announce a financial assistance package along the lines of the $14 billion proposal that failed to win Senate approval Dec. 11. By midday Dec. 17 no announcement had been made by the White House. Such a package was expected to reallocate funds previously approved by Congress as part of the Troubled Assets Relief Program, designed to bail out banking and financial firms, or previously authorized to assist the automakers’ switch to more environmentally friendly products. “Whatever restructuring is done within the auto companies, their suppliers and the ancillary businesses, it needs to involve all the stakeholders. The situation is urgent and the process needs to provide reasonable, negotiated timelines for all of the parties involved,” the cardinal said.

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