Auto industry Aid Would Contain Strings

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- House and Senate aides are hammering out legislation that would dole out billions to automakers within a week.

But a congressional aide says the measure would yank back the money if a government-run board and overseer named by President George W. Bush decides the companies aren't doing enough to overhaul themselves.

The plan would draw the emergency aid from an existing loan program meant to help the automakers build fuel-efficient vehicles.

The size of the package isn't final, but several congressional aides say it's expected to be about $15 billion.

In return for the money, the car-makers would have to agree to limit their top executives' pay packages, cease paying dividends, give the government a chunk of future gains and guarantee that taxpayers would be reimbursed before any other shareholders.

Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd says GM's CEO needs to go before the company gets bailed out.

And President-elect Barack Obama says it's only right that aid be attached to demands for change.

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