$14-billion US auto bailout dies in Senate

A bailout-weary Congress killed a $14-billion package to help struggling US automakers after a partisan dispute over union wage cuts derailed a last-ditch effort to revive the emergency aid before year's end. Republicans, breaking sharply with President George W. Bush as his term draws to a close, refused late Thursday to back federal aid for Detroit's beleaguered Big Three automakers. They wanted a guarantee that the United Auto Workers would agree by the end of next year to bring their pay into line with Japanese car makers, something it refused to do before its current contract with the automakers expires in 2011.