The Bush administration is calling for a car czar to oversee the bailout and have the power to revoke loans if companies are found not to be viable and even force a restructuring plan on them, including bankruptcy.
Lawmakers in Congress and the White House are still fine-tuning a deal to provide 15 billion dollars in bridge loans to the ailing US auto industry.
But the White House is still asking for stringent powers for a car czar to oversee the bailout expenditures. It wants the czar to have the power to revoke the loans or force automakers into bankruptcy if they are found not to be viable businesses in the long-term.
Congressional Democrats have agreed in principle to a car czar instead of an oversight board of several members but they are still negotiating details of the bailout with the Bush administration. Both sides have expressed optimism that a deal could be done by the end of the week.
Congress and the White House agree that the car czar will have broad powers in overseeing how the automakers use their bailout money. The czar will be obliged to report to Congress every 15 days and automakers will have to provide detailed restructuring plans by March 31st to prove their long-term viability in order to get any more federal money.
"There will not be long-term financing if they can't prove long-term viability," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said in a briefing on Monday.