WASHINGTON - Republicans want the Obama administration to set a deadline for the government to sell its ownership stakes in General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC and financial institutions.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune says Congress should set a July 2010 deadline for the government to sell its stakes in companies purchased with federal bailout funds.

A key adviser to President Barack Obama's auto task force told lawmakers Wednesday the administration planned to sell its stakes as soon as possible, but the ownership was needed to protect the taxpayers' investments.

The government is expected to own 60 percent of the new General Motors and 8 percent of the new Chrysler. Thune says the ownership creates a "dangerous conflict of interest."

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