Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill approving a $25 billion loan for the Detroit 3. Now the Senate, by a similar margin, has passed the bill, which means it needs George W. Bush's John Hancock in order for the automakers to see their funds.
The process actually began last year when Congress put the language for the loan into an energy bill, but didn't allocate the money for it. Now that the actual sum has been "found" and approved, the details of the loan and repayment need to be sorted out. The energy department has 60 days to do the math once the loan becomes law, but the Energy Secretary said it could still take 18 months or more for GM, Ford, and Chrysler to get the money.

Michigan Congressional reps have cried foul, especially because the bill also included $10 million for the Energy Department to hire outside consultants to speed things up. The department probably won't want to waste time, because Michigan Senator Carl Levine has already pledged to begin work on another round of $25 billion loans for 2009 and 2010. But when the checks finally do come, you can probably expect to see automaker reps waiting outside E-Z Check Cashing.

[Source: Detroit News]

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