• Nov 20th 2008 at 1:33PM
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CNBC is reporting that four U.S. senators have reached a bipartisan agreement on a bill to help the Big 3 automakers in Detroit. Those senators include Michigan Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, Ohio Republican George Voinovich and Missouri Republican Christopher Bond. Details of the bill are not yet available, but a news conference is scheduled for 2:30PM EST, at which time we should learn more. It will likely be some compromise between the Democrats' wish for taking an extra $25 billion out of the $700 billion financial bailout fund and the plan supported by the White House that would allow automakers to use the already approved $25 billion in low interest loans for anything they wanted rather than just investing in green technology.
Still, CNBC says the bill faces some big procedural hurdles, not the least of which is that senators want to go home soon for the Thanksgiving holiday. Trying to squeak in a vote before the break will be tough, and lawmakers may have to reconvene in December to vote on the bill. Plus, there's no guarantee the House of Representatives will pass it even if the Senate would.

Regardless, Wall Street seems pleased with the news as shares of General Motors and Ford have jumped, with the latter hitting as high as $4 after ending the day yesterday at $2.79.

Stay tuned, we'll bring you all the details on the new automaker bailout bill when they become available. Thanks for the tip, everyone!

UPDATE: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have held a press conference in which they said that the compromise agreement reached by the above senators would not be approved, and instead that Congress will come back in December and hold more hearings with the CEOs of the Big 3. Each automaker has been charged with the task of showing "accountability and viability" at this second round of hearings, specifically telling Congress exactly how they plan to use any bailout money they might be given.

UPDATE 2: For details on the compromise bill, click here.

[Source: CNBC]

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