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GM, Ford Wrap Up Plea Before Congress

Now it's up to Congress.

The CEOs of the Detroit three automakers appeared before the House Financial Services committee Friday, making their fourth plea for a bailout in less than three weeks. The appearances were likely their last in 2008.

While no consensus on the source or amount of funding emerged, indications were that Congress will come up with some form of funding. "There's a lot more agreement that we should do something," said committee chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass, as the hearing concluded.

"It's fair to say that the jobs report today, this disastrous jobs report, has heightened the interest in doing something," Frank said. "If we are lucky, we will come out with a bill next week that nobody likes, because any bill that everybody likes couldn't pass. There is an understanding that we have to work together (and) there are a lot of ways to do this."

Pressure is mounting. General Motors (GM - Get Report) and Chrysler say they are running out of money, as the financial crisis and lack of credit have spooked potential car buyers.

Chrysler wants $4 billion this month, while GM wants $4 billion this month and $10 billion by the end of the first quarter. Ford (F - Get Report) says it does not have an immediate need for cash, although it is seeking access to a $9 billion line of credit. The total request is $34 billion.

"I don't want to open the paper to see what the markets look like on Monday morning because Congress has gone home" with offering anything, said Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs, who testified at the hearing Friday. "It's really important to get this thing done."
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