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 LevinSenate about to enter 'nuclear option' death spiral Devin Nunes has jeopardized the oversight role of Congress Ted Cruz wants to destroy the Senate as we know it MORE and Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowSenate braces for fallout over Supreme Court fight The Hill’s Whip List: 32 Dems are against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Perdue says he will advocate for agriculture spending 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 ObamaNapolitano stands by British surveillance claim in Fox News return Trump's approval rating sinks to 35 percent: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report 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