White House Considers Options to Save Big 3

President Bush will consider new measures to rescue trouble U.S. car companies now that the Senate has killed a $14 billion bailout bill, White House press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement.

One of the options the president may look at it is using some of the $700 billion reserved for the rescue of Wall Street investment banks. Democratic leaders in Congress had urged the president to tap those funds to help the carmakers, but Bush had rebuffed the request.

Read Perino's full statement below:
It is disappointing that while appropriate and effective legislation to assist and restructure troubled automakers received majority support in both houses, Congress nevertheless failed to pass final legislation. The approach in that legislation provided an opportunity to use funds already appropriated for automakers, and presented the best chance to avoid a disorderly bankruptcy while ensuring taxpayer funds go only to firms whose stakeholders were prepared to make the difficult decisions to become viable, competitive firms in the future.

Under normal economic conditions we would prefer that markets determine the ultimate fate of private firms. However, given the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, we will consider other options if necessary