US Congress approves auto-industry loans, offshore drilling

September 28th, 2008 - 12:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 28 (DPA) The troubled automakers General Motors, Ford and Chrysler got a lift Saturday from the US Congress, which gave the final green light for $25 billion in loans to the auto industry to help develop fuel-efficient cars.Congress also lifted an offshore oil-drilling ban and approved $602 billion for the departments of defence, homeland security and veterans affairs.

The final approval came from the Senate after the House of Representatives gave approval earlier this week.

Congress has extended its session beyond Friday as it wrestles with the mammoth $700-billion rescue for the finance industry.

The auto loan provisions were sought by General Motors, Ford Chrysler and others who said they needed taxpayer help with the shift to making more fuel-efficient cars, Bloomberg financial news agency reported.

Majority Democrats caved in to administration demands to lift the long-standing bans on oil drilling off the US East and West coasts and also on oil-shale development on federal lands.

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