A bill being introduced in the U.S. congress this week would give Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers–Ford, GM, and DaimlerChrysler–up to $20 billion to develop more environmentally friendly According to reports, the bill is intended to give the automakers quicker access to capital to spur research and development and lessen dependence on foreign oil. U.S. automakers have consistently fallen behind their international rivals, particularly the Japanese, in developing hybrid gas-electric cars, focusing instead on the large, highly profitable SUV market. Stiull, at least one U.S. Representative. Mike Rogers, said the bill should not be called a bailout. “This isn’t a free pass for them to avoid painful decisions or restructuring,” Rogers said Tuesday. “This is a chance for the automakers to compete on a fair playing field with access to the credit markets. This is about supporting real jobs for real Americans through innovation.” General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimerChrysler’s Chrysler Group have all seen their credit ratings sharply reduced; GM and Ford are rated as speculative or junk status. If adopted, the bill could dramatically reduce borrowing costs for the Big Three, potentially saving them hundreds of millions of dollars.