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Dems want automakers to show bailout spending plan

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  • NEW: Lawmaker: We must take time to make sure there are safeguards
  • NEW: Members of Congress from Michigan offer bipartisan proposal
  • "Until [automakers] show us a plan we cannot show them the money," Pelosi says
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Congressional Democrats are asking the Big Three automakers to submit a plan no later than December 2 for spending the $25 billion they have requested to rescue their companies, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said "we've tried a number of different approaches" to the bailout legislation.

Democratic senators are examining a proposed automaker bailout bill, two sources tell CNN.

Congress probably would reconvene by December 8 to consider the proposal, which would be reviewed with an eye toward convincing the public that they would be well-served, the Nevada Democrat said.

"The key is accountability and viability," Reid said. "We want them to get their act together."

"Until they show us the plan, we cannot show them the money," added Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference in the Capitol. Video Watch why the Big Three bailout is stalled »

Reid said that so far the companies have failed to convince Congress and the American people that this bailout would be their last.

The CEOs of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC spent two days on Capitol Hill this week seeking $25 billion in loans to solve a looming cash crisis that could lead to bankruptcy filings for GM and Chrysler later this year or early next year.

Reid said the automakers would submit the plan to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Connecticut. Frank chairs the House Committee on Financial Services and Dodd heads the Senate Banking Committee.

Reid also told reporters that members of Congress from Michigan have come up with a bipartisan agreement for the auto companies -- "but it's their agreement."

There still is nothing on the table that could be approved by Congress or President Bush, he said.

"We're disappointed that those hopes have not been met," said Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, who helped forge the agreement. But he said he was encouraged that the leadership was taking all steps needed to help the auto industry survive with bridge loans.

Frank defended the amount of time being spent on the automakers' request.

"We put through a bill putting $700 billion of taxpayers money at risk, although we hope to recover it," he said, referring to the stimulus fund approved for banks.

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"There is widespread dissatisfaction -- not just in the Congress but in the country -- with what is perceived to be a failure of the recipients of those funds to carry out the intent that the Congress had."

He added, "There is a sense that we did not do a good enough job of safeguarding those funds. That's why we need to take time."

CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report.

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