Congressional Democrats on Thursday picked up support for plans to help U.S. automakers from a key lawmaker, Ohio Sen. George Voinovich (R). Chris Paulitz, an aide to Voinovich, said the senator would sign onto a letter to be circulated next week by Michigan Democratic Sens. Carl LevinCarl LevinTrump's crush on foreign autocrats threatens democracy at home OPINION: Congress must press forward with its Russia investigation Democrats and Republicans share blame in rewriting the role of the Senate MORE and Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowSenate Dem: 'We've got to stop the administration from sabotaging the private insurance market' No certainty on cost-sharing payments to insurers Dems express concerns about Trump's proposed rural development cuts MORE.

"The senator believes helping the automakers remain viable is truly putting Main Street over Wall Street," Paulitz said. "He has signaled his support to Sens. Levin and Stabenow and is working with them on a letter to their colleagues to make this a reality next week during the lame duck. He also wants to ensure that the companies qualifying for TARP funding are truly viable in order to protect taxpayers down the road."

Bloomberg news reported Thursday that President-elect Barack ObamaBarack ObamaOvernight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes Why UK millennials voting for socialism could happen here, too Overnight Regulation: EPA moves to repeal Obama water rule | Labor chief to review overtime rule | Record fine for Google MORE is pushing lawmakers to greenlight as much as $50 billion in loans this year for the troubled automakers. Obama would also look to appoint a "czar" to oversee management of the companies, but the plan would need support from the outgoing Bush administration and a less Democratic lame duck Congress in order to be enacted this year.

-Silla Brush