Bailout Deal Not Done; Sides Keep Working

Posted November 20, 2008 at 12:41pm

Senate and House Democratic leaders continue to plot strategy on an auto bailout bill, but sources close to the talks said Thursday no deal has yet been reached that can pass both chambers.

Still, leaders are expected to announce at 2 p.m. today that they will conduct hearings on the potential solutions the week of Dec. 2, and keep open the possibility that they will come back the week of Dec. 8 to consider any legislation that has broad bipartisan support, House and Senate sources said.

It appears that Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has reached a bipartisan agreement with Sens. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) to restructure $25 billion in loans the government has already given automakers. However, Democrats put long odds on that proposal passing the House because it would eliminate the loans’ original intent for manufacturers to upgrade their plants in order to make more fuel-efficient cars.