WASHINGTON, DC -- President George W. Bush on Tuesday signed into law
a mammoth spending bill that includes a $25 billion loan package for
The bill sets aside $7.5 billion in taxpayer funds needed to guarantee
$25 billion in low-interest loans to help General Motors Corp, Ford
Motor Co and Chrysler LLC produce more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.
U.S. automakers have said the taxpayer-backed loan package would give
them access to capital at a time when credit markets are shut and they
are being driven to invest in new technologies to meet tough new
federal fuel economy standards.
The $25 billion loan package, the biggest federal subsidy for the auto
industry since the 1980 bailout of Chrysler, cleared Congress last
weekend when the focus was on the debate over the $700 billion
financial rescue package.
Both presidential candidates, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican
John McCain, backed the auto loan package, which had strong support in
battleground election states like Michigan and Ohio.