After nearly eight years of getting little or no attention from the White House, it seems as though Detroit's automakers will be a major focus the 2008 Election. With the economy looking worse by the day, lawmakers in Washington have been kicking around the idea of a second economic stimulus package to get people shopping again, and Mowtown's lawmakers want in on the money. Michigan's two Democratic senators are attempting to use the prospect of such a bill to include federally-backed loans to help automakers and suppliers build new factories and engineer new models. The $4B would be used to offset the costs associated with the Treasury Department giving automakers $25B in loans at a discounted rate. Automakers have been against such a loan in the past, but with worsening conditions and tighter lending practices the idea is likely to sound much more exciting this time around.
Presumed Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama
told the UAW
in a letter that he supports the $4B in federal aid, stating that he would "provide real solutions necessary to help this industry compete and win in the global economy." Obama also promised tax breaks for consumers that purchase ultra fuel efficient
vehicles and tax credits for automakers as well. Presumed Republican nominee John McCain opposes the idea of federally backed loans, but he does support tax breaks to those that purchase fuel efficient vehicles and a $300M
in prize money for electric battery powered vehicles
[Source: Detroit Free Press
, Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]