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White House officials head to Detroit meeting, with aid package in the works

Some top White House officials areheaded to Detroit for a big meeting Friday.

And they're expected to announce $300 million in aid for the city.

It’s the first such meeting between federal and local leaders in Detroit since the city filed for bankruptcy in July.

The Obama administration has said relatively little about Detroit’s historic bankruptcy filing so far—other than making it clear no federal bailout is forthcoming.

But they are trying to scrape together some kind of aid package. The funds to be announced Friday are expected to be some combination of new public and private funds, as well as other federal funding Detroit had received but wasn't able to utilize.

US Attorney General Eric Holder, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan, and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling will be represent the White House.

According to the White House, they’ll discuss “finding ways to support Detroit’s economic revitalization” with state and local officials, including Mayor Dave Bing, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, and Governor Rick Snyder.

Much of Michigan’s Congressional delegation will be there, including Senator Carl Levin. He says they’ll also focus on rooting out unused federal funds in “existing programs”—and figure out how they can best be put to use.

“It could be [in] areas of demolition, it could be areas of neighborhood development, it could be economic development,” says Levin.

The White House says this is the first of a series of similar meetings that will take place in Detroit over the next several months.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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