When Congress wants to hand out money, it apparently wants to include everybody. Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is likely to propose a measure that lets automakers tap into the $700 billion vein of rescue dollars that's ostensibly intended for financial institutions, yet is being hungrily eyed by everyone.

CEOs from Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler will make the trek to Washington, DC, as will UAW chief Ron Gettelfinger. All will be pleading their collective case for an estimated $100 billion-plus vitamin pill. Many, not the least of whom is Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, think that automakers should not be allowed to snag some of the cash that's intended for financial institutions. Things look bleak for all three of the brands, but can Congress be moved to offer up some money and prolong the jobs of so many Americans? Even if the automakers get the $100 billion they're seeking, when nobody's buying, it will merely turn into taxpayers funding an increasing glut of product nobody can afford to buy. Even those consumers with money and good credit are holding back as the economy delves into recession, emotional purchases are way down, and most vehicle purchases are driven by wants versus needs. Things will undoubtedly sort themselves out, but not before more pain for Detroit.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]