Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain declined Sunday to immediately support $15 billion in additional funding to help US automakers weather the economic downturn but did not rule it out.
McCain, in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," noted that Congress had recently approved $25 billion in low-interest loans to help the auto industry build more fuel-efficient vehicles. He said the industry should receive that funding before more is added.
"Let's get the first $25 billion to them first," said McCain, adding that the government could "see how that works before we say we're going to give you some more."
McCain and Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama have called for the loans to be expedited to help the industry retool plants and develop more fuel-efficient vehicles. The Energy Department has estimated it could take six to 18 months to fund the projects.
Obama has also said the loan program should to be doubled to provide $50 billion.
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