Clunkers Program Extended By Senate

With not a moment to spare, the Senate passed the House-approved version of the Clunkers program extension - an additional $2 billion to last to Labor Day, and then went into recess. Any changes would have ended the program.

The initial $1 billion allocation lasted a mere 10 days, beginning on July 27 after the Dept. of Transportation set up the computer programs, though it had hoped to keep the program running till Nov.1. The vote was largely along party lines, 60-37, with Democrats in support - and Republicans, save seven, largely saying 'no'.

"The additional money is borrowed from another stimulus program, a loan program for green energy projects. But lawmakers want to replenish that, so the cash-for-clunkers extension spending will probably add to the federal deficit.

Dealers say they have made about a quarter-million new car sales incorporating the rebate. The program caught public attention in a way that the Senate's other recent concerns like health care legislation have not."

From NYT Editorial: "Congress was right to add $2 billion to extend the program until Labor Day. But the success of the program cannot obscure the fact that many Americans remain wedded to the guzzlers and that their enthusiasm for smaller, more efficient vehicles is likely to diminish once the clunkers money runs out."

From Sierra Club press room: "Car Consumers Get It":
"After today's successful Senate vote extending the federal government's Car Allowance Rebate System (also known as "cash for clunkers"), the Sierra Club announced it will continue helping consumers better understand the environmental and economic benefits of making the right vehicle purchasing decisions.

The Club's Cash for Clunkers online guide includes a calculator allowing consumers to compare the fuel savings and emissions reduction benefits of various new models."

Thanks to Loren Spiekerman

Full Story: Senate Adds Cash to ‘Clunkers’ Plan

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