White House Not Offering Detroit Help To Avoid Bankruptcy

Source: David Shepardson / The Detroit News

Washington— The White House offered no help to the city of Detroit to avoid a potential bankruptcy filing, but a spokesman said Thursday President Barack Obama is keeping tabs on the city’s financial woes.

White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked by a reporter for the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call at the daily press briefing if Obama planned on doing anything to save Detroit from a bankruptcy filing. The president in 2009 helped finance the quick-rinse bankruptcies of Detroit-area automakers General Motors and Chrysler.

“I know that the president is aware of the situation in Detroit and that administration officials have been in contact with leaders in Detroit, but I am not aware of any plans or proposals that the president has, but we’re certainly aware of the circumstances,” Carney said.

The State of Michigan has appointed an emergency financial manager, Kevyn Orr, to run the city, which has as much as $20 billion in debt. Last month, the city stopped making payments on some unsecured debts, including pension obligations. Orr is trying to convince some creditors to accept as little as 10 cents on the dollar in an effort to avoid what would be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

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