WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Treasury said Friday it is ready to save the country's crippled auto industry from bankruptcy after Congress rejected an auto bailout bill hours earlier.
"Because Congress failed to act, we will stand ready to prevent an imminent failure until Congress reconvenes and acts to address the long-term viability of the industry," Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin told reporters.
Earlier, the White House also said it is considering using the 700 billion U.S. dollar Wall Street rescue fund to prevent U.S. automakers from failing.
"Given the current weakened state of the U.S. economy, we will consider other options if necessary -- including use of the TARP program -- to prevent a collapse of troubled automakers," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, referring to the 700 billion dollar financial rescue fund.
Perino said the White House normally would prefer to let the financial markets determine the companies' fate.
In Detroit, the United Auto Workers (UAW) welcomed the Bush administration's remarks. "I think it's great news, the response that we've been getting out of both the White House and the Treasury," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger.
"I do know this, we cannot afford for there to be a run on the banks, if you will, at those companies," he said.
A potential 14 billion dollars to aid the automakers collapsed in the Senate on Thursday night after the UAW refused to accede to Republican demands for swift wage cuts.
Gettelfinger blamed the defeat in Senate on southern Senators who he said are anti-union and anti-Detroit.
Meanwhile, the White House called on all sides concerned to make concessions necessary.
"A precipitous collapse of this industry would have a severe impact on our economy and it would be irresponsible to further weaken and destabilize our economy at this time," said Perino.
"While the federal government may need to step in to prevent an immediate failure, the auto companies, their labor unions and all other stakeholders must be prepared to make the meaningful concessions necessary to become viable," she noted.