Dodd: Big Three Must Show Commitment Thursday

Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), whose committee tomorrow will examine a possible $34 billion bailout of the Big Three U.S. automakers, says the CEOs of the three companies must demonstrate a "commitment to profitability and viability" before his panel if they are to receive federal funds.

Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors submitted proposals to Congress yesterday for how they would increase profitability if the government approves the $34 billion they have requested.

"There is no question that this industry is facing monumental challenges. The failure of any one of these companies could have catastrophic consequences on our nation

Dodd said the three automakers will specifically have to build more fuel efficient cars and do away with "excessive" corporate perks. The Big Three CEOs caught flak last month after flying corporate jets to Washington to ask Congress for bailout money.

"But if these companies are asking for taxpayer dollars, they must convince Congress that they are going to shape up and change their ways. Specifically, they must demonstrate a commitment to profitability and viability that includes raising fuel efficiency standards and reining in excessive compensation and perks like private jets. I look forward to our hearing on Thursday and the opportunity to review these plans with economic and industry experts, as well as representatives from each company," Dodd said.