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Detroit, Mich. — They can’t get it done.

That is the backroom word on Capitol Hill as auto executives from the Detroit Three wrapped up a second, and final, day of hearings before the House in attempt to get a $35 billion loan to keep them solvent.

Instead, speculation is that the Bush administration — loath to watch a U.S. automaker drown in its last month in office — will offer $8-14 billion band-aid to GM and Chrysler (both of which will run out of cash this month) possibly from the TARP.

“Detroit’s automakers will be lucky to get less than half of the $34 billion they’re seeking for survival, as several House members said today there was simply not enough time to examine the industry’s pitch and hammer out a consensus by next week,” reads one report from the Detroit Free Press. “Only stopgap funding of up to $14 billion appeared possible next week.”

This will act as a tourniquet for the two most-crippled automakers so they can limp along until the Obama administration can convene with a new Congress and tackle long-term surgery in the new year.


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