Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden Mellman: The likely voter sham Bottom line MORE (D-Nev.) indicated Wednesday that a simple legislative change to the Treasury Department's authority to use Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout funds would provide the Treasury the ability to dispense funds to U.S. automakers.

"As the Senate considers whether to pass an auto aid package, either in this legislation or in other legislation," Reid said in a Senate floor speech, "we all need to remember that what we are deciding is whether Congress will apply additional terms to funds that the Treasury Department can and should ultimately provide."

Reid said that the Federal Reserve could also provide funds to Detroit's Big 3.

-Michael O'Brien