WASHINGTON -- Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown warned today that unless Congress steps in to rescue the Detroit automakers, the "consequences are too damaging to our great state.''

In a telephone interview with reporters as auto executives testified before the Senate Banking Committee, the Democrat said lawmakers in the House and Senate "have two choices: We can provide bridge loans to the auto companies or allow the economy to drive off the bridge.''

Brown, a member of the Banking Committee, said General Motors, Ford and Chrysler have presented lawmakers with realistic plans to restructure. He said, "They have finally got their act in gear and really are ready to putting these companies back on the road to profitability.''

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