Detroit automakers to lobby Congress for $50 billion in loans

What's another $25 billion between friends? That's the argument General Motors, Chrysler and Ford's Congressional lobbyists will be making in the next few months for a $50 billion loan from the federal government.

Originally, Detroit's Big Three were after $25 billion in loans from the Feds, but after lawmakers authorized a loan in last year's energy bill, the domestics now want Congress to grant loans up to $50 billion over the next three years.

The loans would carry an interest rate of around four to five percent, with $25 billion being available in the first year, another $15 billion in the second year and the final $10 billion in the third.

GM, Ford and Chrysler contend that the low-interest loans would be used to build more fuel-efficient vehicles, including hybrids and electrics, thus reducing the U.S.'s dependency on foreign oil, not to mention making all three automakers more competitive in a market that no longer favors big trucks and SUVs.

Mark Fields, Ford's President of the Americas, likens the bailout loan to the recent financial support granted to Bears Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from the Feds, saying, "This is not about benefiting Wall Street. This is benefiting Main Street, the working men and women."

[Source: Detroit News]

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