The White House Wednesday touted a resurgent U.S. auto industry as justification for a massive government auto bailout but also admitted taxpayers may still be on the hook for as much as $14 billion in losses from the deal.

“The latest number from the CBO, I think, was a $14 billion loss,” said Ron Bloom, the Obama administration’s lead manufacturing adviser. “And that reflects market prices at the time they did it. The final number will be the final number,” Bloom continued. “[T]here is no joy … in recognizing that all of this money will not be returned.”

Still, Bloom says that amount is much less than originally feared when the federal government-over both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations–sank $80 billion into struggling auto makers. He says that the jobs saved and created outweigh taxpayer losses.

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