Bush administration ready to step in to prevent automaker collapse

The United Auto Workers union is welcoming the Bush administration's vow to prevent the possible failure of any U.S. automakers in the next few weeks.

After the Senate last night rejected a $14 billion rescue plan for the industry, the White House today says the economy "could not withstand a body blow" that a "disorderly bankruptcy in the auto industry" would create. Bush press secretary Dana Perino says Congress doesn't "have the votes to do anything," so the White House will have to consider other options.

The Treasury Department says it "will stand ready to prevent an imminent failure until Congress reconvenes" and takes action.

Tapping the $700 billion financial rescue is 1 of the few remaining options for General Motors and Chrysler, which have said the could run out of cash within weeks.

In Detroit, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger says while he doesn't know exactly what that would mean, the statements from the White House and the Treasury come as "great news."

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