Automakers accept $17.4 billion in emergency loans

The government tossed a lifeline to sinking U.S. automakers Friday.

The offer is $17.4 billion in emergency loans in exchange for significant concessions.

CEO salaries and stock dividends will be slashed.

Union autoworkers, suppliers, and even bondholders have to agree to sacrifices, and the carmakers have to commit to building greener cars.

President Bush said he had no choice.

"In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action," Bush explained.

"The auto companies must not squander this chance to reform bad management practices," added Barack Obama.

"It's really a blueprint for a new General Motors -- one for our second 100 years," said General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner.

More than $13 billion in bailout dollars will immediately go to General Motors and Chrysler.

The money will come from the Wall Street bailout fund.

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