Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bailout-Obama suggested more help for auto industry

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - President-elect Obama suggested to President Bush that the administration immediately provide extra help to struggling U.S. automakers, aides to the Democrat say, in their first face-to-face meeting since Election Day.

Obama's aides said the president-elect brought up the issue with Bush during their two-hour White House talks on Monday, expressing his view that action is needed now, not just to help the U.S. companies but also the broader economy, because of their enormous reach. Obama raised the idea of an administration point person on autos with a portfolio aimed at improving the long-term health of the companies.

Bush repeated his position, recently stated by staff, that he is open to helping the automakers.

Also, amid discussions over whether new economic stimulus spending is needed, Obama focused on his desire for it while Bush stressed that his main priority for any postelection action out of Congress is approval of a long-stalled free trade agreement with Colombia, said people familiar with the conversation between the two men. The sources declined to be named publicly because of the private nature of the talks....more

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