Auto companies need a "What next"
The AP reports that the 15 billion is not available to the auto companies:
Their efforts in Congress squashed, U.S. automakers are depending upon a reluctant White House to quickly provide a multibillion lifeline to help them avoid imminent collapse.
General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, which have said they could run out of cash within weeks, have few options left after the dramatic defeat in the Senate of a $14 billion bailout for the domestic auto industry.
Its demise late Thursday prompted immediate calls from lawmakers in both parties for the Bush administration to tap into the $700 billion Wall Street bailout to rescue the beleaguered auto industry. The bill failed after talks broke down over the refusal of the United Auto Workers union to meet Republican demands for aggressive wage reductions.
The Senate rejected the bailout 52-35 on a procedural vote — well short of the 60 required — after the talks fell apart.
“I dread looking at Wall Street,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in anticipation of Friday’s stock market reaction. “It’s not going to be a pleasant sight.”
The Bush administration has repeatedly said the Wall Street bailout fund should not be used for emergency aid to the automakers because it was designed to restore stability to the financial sector. Following the vote, the White House said it was studying its options.
“Plan B is the president,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said action by President George W. Bush was the “only viable option.”