Officials with Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors are calling on the federal government to provide nearly $34 billion in loans. US Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) says it's a request that needs careful consideration, because turning the request down could result in those companies going out of business.
Kohl says the auto industry is vitally important to the nation's economy. He says its collapse could have a ripple effect through the entire nation, because so many other businesses rely on auto makers to survive.
Still, Kohl says any money given to the industry needs to be treated like an investment. He says we can't afford to waste money, but also can't allow the current recession to turn into a depression.
Kohl says the auto makers need to provide a plan proving they can use the money to survive.