Obama to Create Auto Industry Task Force

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CBNNews.com - WASHINGTON -- Loaded with all the bells and whistles, automakers at a car show in Chicago put their best and newest toys on display. But underneath the shiny surface, they are sounding the alarm.

General Motors and Chrysler are staying afloat off of a combined $13 billion in government loans.

Click the player to watch the report from CBN News Washington Correspondent John Jessup, followed by Pat Robertson's comments on what the administration should do to provide immediate relief to workers.

And now, President Obama plans to appoint senior administration officials to oversee how the industry restructures.

The panel reportedly will be headed up Treasury secretary Tim Geithner and White House economic council director Larry Summers, instead of a single car czar as had been discussed before former President Bush left office.

First Major Piece of Legislation

The news comes as Obama prepares to sign his first major legislative victory into law -- the $787 billion rescue plan to save the economy.

"This historic step won't be the end of what we do to turn our economy around, but rather the beginning," the President said in his weekly video address.

The White House says the plan, which will save or create 3.5 million jobs, is badly needed.

"We have great confidence in what we're doing here that it's going to produce jobs in the short run and economic progress in the long run," said White House Advisor David Axelrod, Sr.

Doubts About The Plan

But Republicans doubt it will work.

"I think we missed the mark a long way," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC. "We increased new government. We did not increase new jobs."

The GOP aren't only upset about the size of the bill, they're not happy about how it was was passed, with the support of only three Republicans in all of Congress.

"If this is going to bipartisanship the country is screwed," Graham said on ABC's This Week. "I know bipartisanship when i see it. I've participated in it. I've gone back home and got primary opponents, because I wanted to be bipartisan. This is not bipartisanship."

"It is not perfect, but it's certainly a lot better than doing nothing," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY.

The White House, too, is has begun dampening expectations.

"The acceleration in job loss probably means that this economy is going to get worse before it gets better," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said on CBS's Face The Nation. "But we're happy that Congress in a bipartisan way, took steps to make whatever happens in this recession easier to take for the American people."

The President will sign the bill Tuesday, just four weeks after taking office. And unlike most bill signing ceremonies, Obama will not sign the bill at the White House, but in Denver, Colorado, symbolic of his efforts to take his economic message directly to the public.

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CBN News
John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Washington Correspondent

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