President Barack Obama says the government will recover all the taxpayer money his administration used to bail out the auto industry last year.
In an interview aired Thursday on the ABC daytime talk show “The View,” Obama said the auto industry “tells a good story” of his administration’s efforts to rescue the economy. He planned to highlight that story with stops at three auto plants over the next several days, including two stops in Michigan on Friday.
The White House said Obama’s proclamation on recouping funds refers only to the $60 billion his administration spent rescuing the auto industry, not the $17 billion spent under the Bush administration.
In a report on the status of the auto industry released Thursday, the White House said failing to rescue GM and Chrysler would have led to the loss of nearly 1.1 million jobs. The auto industry has added 55,000 jobs in the year since the automotive bankruptcies, making it the strongest year of job growth in the industry since 1999.
White House officials pointed to several signs of progress: plans by GM and Chrysler to skip the typical summer shutdown of several auto plants to meet demand for certain vehicles and the addition of shifts at GM, Chrysler and Ford Motor Co. plants. The report notes that Ford posted a $2.6 billion profit during the second quarter, its fifth straight quarterly profit, while GM reached a net profit of $865 million in the first quarter of 2010, its first since 2005.
The report estimates that Detroit automakers could add 11,000 new jobs before the end of 2010.
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