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Congress Wants Plan From Carmakers Before Giving Aid

Updated from 2:47 p.m. EST

Democratic leaders want the Big Three automakers to come back next month with a better explanation of how a Congressional bailout could save their companies.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday he will ask the CEOs of Ford (F), GM (GM) and Chrysler, who spoke on Capitol Hill this week in a bid to get a $25 billion aid package, to return to Washington the week of Dec. 2 to provide additional testimony.

Reid said more hearings are required because neither Congress nor the American people were convinced by their recent comments. Getting a bill through Congress at this point would be impossible, given the current lack of support, he said.

"We want them to come up with a proposal that we can get through here on Dec. 8," Reid said at a press conference. "We don't know how much they need for the so-called bailout. It's been very elusive as to what that is.

"We're kicking the can down the road because that will give us the opportunity to do something later," he said. "What kind of a message do we send to the American people by having a bunch of failed votes?"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that last week, the companies indicated they wanted to visit Washington to discuss the idea of mergers, and she approved. But that was off the table when they arrived.

"It is essential that we see some restructuring, some path to viability for the industry," she said. "We reject those who are advocating bankruptcy for the industry."

Stock quotes in this article: F, GM 

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