Congressional Democrats on Thursday picked up support for plans to help U.S. automakers from a key lawmaker, Ohio Sen. George Voinovich (R). Chris Paulitz, an aide to Voinovich, said the senator would sign onto a letter to be circulated next week by Michigan Democratic Sens. Carl LevinCarl LevinA package proposal for repatriation Silencing of Warren another example of hyperpartisan Senate GOP going nuclear over Gorsuch might destroy filibuster forever MORE and Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowA guide to the committees: Senate Trump's pick to lead Medicare won't say if she supports negotiating prices with drug companies Overnight Finance: Fed chief tries to stay above partisan fray | Bill would eliminate consumer agency | Trump signs repeal of SEC rule on foreign payments MORE.

"The senator believes helping the automakers remain viable is truly putting Main Street over Wall Street," Paulitz said. "He has signaled his support to Sens. Levin and Stabenow and is working with them on a letter to their colleagues to make this a reality next week during the lame duck. He also wants to ensure that the companies qualifying for TARP funding are truly viable in order to protect taxpayers down the road."

Bloomberg news reported Thursday that President-elect Barack ObamaBarack ObamaFrench fans to Obama: Run for president here Will CPAC denounce Putin's war against democracy? Obama lawyers team up to fight Trump MORE is pushing lawmakers to greenlight as much as $50 billion in loans this year for the troubled automakers. Obama would also look to appoint a "czar" to oversee management of the companies, but the plan would need support from the outgoing Bush administration and a less Democratic lame duck Congress in order to be enacted this year.

-Silla Brush