General Motors announced that the Shreveport plant will be closed until February 15.
General Motors and Chrysler LLC have warned they are running out of cash and face bankruptcy without some form of assistance. Ford Motor Co., which is in somewhat better shape financially, has been seeking access to a line of credit.
The administration said no decisions had been made on the size or duration of the new bailout plan, or what type of concessions might be demanded from the struggling automakers, their workers, stockholders or others.
In a reversal, the most likely rescue option under consideration involved billions of dollars originally ticketed for the bailout of the financial industry.
President Bush had earlier declared that money off-limits to the beleaguered automakers.
Urgent requests for White House intervention to save the automakers came from President-elect Obama, Republican and Democratic members of Congress and outside groups.
TARP is the $700 billion Troubled Assets Recovery Program, the financial industry bailout plan enacted in October. All but $15 billion of the first $350 billion has been dedicated to troubled banks or insurance companies, and the Treasury Department is barred from dipping into the second $350 billion without a formal notification of Congress.
No decision has been reached about such a notification, administration officials said. If one is made, Congress could then vote to prevent the action, but it would be unlikely to prevail in a showdown with the president.
Obama, who will inherit the problem next month, even if bailout billions are handed over in the meantime, said, "My hope is that the administration and the Congress will still find a way to give the industry the temporary assistance it needs while demanding the long-term restructuring that is absolutely required."
In a letter to Bush, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged the president to demand "the same tough accountability" and taxpayer protections from the automakers as was contained in legislation that cleared the House at midweek.
Without stating any pros or cons about whether the industry should receive $14 billion of taxpayer money, my big question would be why attach all the conditions to $14 billion for the automakers when NO strings were attached to the $800 billion approved for Wall Street?
If congress is concerned about the pay of auto workers, why not be concerned about the pay of financial industry workers?
I suppose we should not be surprised to see Republicans in congress acting conservative, but it seems a little hypocritcal after they have spent the last 8 years shoeveling taxpayer money out faster than it could be printed.
The Republicans newly found 'conservatism' is a little nauseating when you know that it is nothing more than political posturing.