US car firms await bail-out deal

A $15 billion (£10.1 billion) deal to bail out America's failing car industry could be acted upon by the United States' Congress "by the end of the week", the Senate majority leader said.

The emergency package deal for the Big Three car companies in the US rested on a few outstanding issues, but was set for a final agreement by the White House and could be finished by Thursday.

General Motors (GM), Chrysler and Ford asked for $34 billion (£22.9 billion) between them in the bail-out deal, and both GM and Chrysler said they would struggle to survive beyond the end of the month without it.

Remaining disputes, including the placement of a presidentially-named 'car Czar' overseeing the restructuring of the car industry, are to be the subject of intense talks by Congressional aides in an attempt to close the deal.

The size of the package has not been finalised, but it is expected to be about $15 billion (£10.1 billion).

White House press secretary Dana Perino said the long-term viability of the car companies was a "sticking issue", but added: "I think overall we're headed in the right direction."

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