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July 19, 2013

White House "paying close attention" to bankrupt Detroit, bailout unlikely

The White House has been "paying close attention" and talking with Michigan and Detroit officials about how it can aid the bankrupt city -- but press secretary Jay Carney said its insolvency "is an issue that has to be resolved between Michigan and Detroit and the creditors."

Carney said the White House is "engaged in conversations about policy options and other ways that we can be of assistance to Detroit." He said National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling, senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Sean Donovan, have all talked with officials in Detroit and Michigan.

"But on the issue of insolvency and on those matters, that's something that local leaders and creditors are going to have to resolve," Carney said. "But we will be partners in an effort to assist the city and the state as they move forward."

Asked if there had been talk of a bailout, Carney said it was something for the city and the creditors to resolve. He wouldn't address whether the White House is worried about an impact on the overall economy, saying it was "concerned, obviously, about the citizens of Detroit and of the state."

And he put in a plug for Obama's efforts to stabilize the auto industry, saying there had been "remarkable progress since the depths of the Great Recession, at which time there was the prospect of liquidation or elimination of the automobile industry in this country."

Carney said the administration was prepared to "offer assistance where we can," but said he had no specifics on what it would be.


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