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U.S. Bets Billions on GM's Resurgence

General Motors, the car maker known for its iconic Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet models, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 1, 2009.

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The Obama administration has cautioned that the GM bankruptcy case will take longer than Chrysler's because it is a larger and more global company. But if the first day of court proceedings is any indication, GM's stay in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Lower Manhattan will be a relatively short one, as well.

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Judge Robert Gerber whipped through the agenda, giving approval to all 24 requests made by the automaker during a late afternoon hearing that lasted less than two hours.

Most significantly, Gerber gave GM the go-ahead to tap $15 billion of the $33 billion in financing from the U.S. and Canadian governments to finance operations while the automaker is in bankruptcy proceedings.

"We're confident, but we're not cocky," said Ron Bloom, a senior adviser to the president's autos task force, about the prospects in bankruptcy court. The revival of GM is a long-term project, the administration acknowledged.

"These are important steps on the long road to overcoming a problem that didn't happen overnight and will not be solved overnight," Obama said. "I recognize that today's news carries a particular importance because it's not just any company we're talking about. It's GM."

Tse and Marr reported from New York. Staff writer Michael A. Fletcher in Washington contributed to this report.

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