Bankrupt Detroit gets $300 million in aid
Updated: 2013-09-28 14:45
WASHINGTON - Senior White House officials on Friday arrived in the US city of Detroit with $300 million in federal and private aid to help deal with the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation's history.
Gene Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council, led a delegation that included three cabinet members, namely, US Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx.
The team is to coordinate the federal response to revive Detroit two months after it filed for bankruptcy.
According to the White House, the aid package comes from federal and state programs, for which Detroit is already eligible, and private foundations and businesses.
Don Graves, a deputy assistant secretary of the US Treasury Department, will oversee Detroit's recovery, and most of the funds will be used to hire more police and firefighters, improve transportation systems, clear blighted properties and provide other public services.
Critics say the aid package is too small to lead the city, which is saddled with more than $18 billion of debt, out of a fiscal free fall.
However, with Republicans in Congress and the Obama administration unable to agree on how to avoid a government shutdown next week and increase the US debt ceiling next month, a large federal bailout for Detroit seems out of reach.
Detroit, the birthplace of the US auto industry, filed for bankruptcy in July, hoping for a fresh start with diminished obligations.