The White House said it was evaluating its options in light of the breakdown of a deal on $14 billion in aid to Detroit's Big Three automakers. The deal fell apart Thursday night in the Senate despite intense negotiations on Capitol Hill between lawmakers, union officials and representatives from the three companies.
"It's disappointing that Congress failed to act tonight," Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto said in a statement. "We think the legislation we negotiated provided an opportunity to use funds already appropriated for automakers and presented the best chance to avoid a disorderly bankruptcy while ensuring taxpayer funds only go to firms whose stakeholders were prepared to make difficult decisions to become viable."
The bailout died after failing 52-35 on a Senate procedural vote.
Earlier in the evening, the talks appeared to have produced a breakthrough, with Democratic leaders "hopeful" that an agreement had been reached that would be acceptable to Senate Republicans, who have resisted the aid package. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came back later to report the effort had failed, adding he was "terribly disappointed."
Reid called the bill's collapse "a loss for the country," adding: "I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It's not going to be a pleasant sight."Click here for more on this developing story.