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Boehner Pans Money For Autos

House Republican Leader John A. Boehner on Thursday blasted the Democrats' plan to advance legislation next week earmarking $25 billion from Treasury's financial rescue package for struggling U.S. automakers.

Sen. George Voinovich, a Republican from Boehner's home state of Ohio, breathed life into the plan on Thursday by agreeing, in principle, to an infusion of federal funds for Detroit's Big Three auto manufacturers.

But Boehner, echoing the concerns of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and other prominent Republicans, would like the Big Three to demonstrate a willingness to reorganize and stay viable before Congress pumps more money into each cash-strapped company.

“Spending billions of additional federal tax dollars with no promises to reform the root causes crippling automakers’ competitiveness around the world is neither fair to taxpayers nor sound fiscal policy," Boehner said in a statement released by his office.

“Earlier this fall, the Democrats in charge of Congress approved a $25 billion loan package for America’s ailing automakers," he continued. "Why are Democratic leaders in Congress discussing an additional taxpayer-funded bailout on top of that $25 billion package instead of ensuring these loans are made available to the automakers as quickly as possible?

"Why have the Democratic leaders of Congress been willing to provide this money without insisting that the companies receiving these federal dollars demonstrate to Congress and to taxpayers that they have a credible plan to strengthen their financial health? And what assurances will Democrats give taxpayers about their chances of getting their auto bailout money back?”

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