Big Three survival bailout requests rise to $34B

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Humbled and fighting for survival, Detroit's once-mighty automakers appealed to Congress with a retooled case for a bailout as large as $34 billion Tuesday, pledging to slash workers, car lines and executive pay in return for a federal lifeline. GM and Chrysler said they needed an immediate cash infusion to last 'til New Year's, and warned they could drag the entire industry down if they fail.

Chrysler LLC said it needed $7 billion by year's end, and General Motors Corp. asked for a quick $4 billion as just the first installment of as much as $18 billion to stay afloat and weather even worse economic storms. Ford Motor Co. had a more upbeat report, but the other two members of the U.S. Big Three painted the direst portraits to date — including the prospects of shuttered factories and massive job losses — of what could happen if Congress doesn't quickly step in.

"Failing to act now will hurt many American families and undermine our country's economic recovery, far outweighing the costs related to supporting an industry that touches every district in every state of the nation," Chrysler said.

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