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UPDATED So much for the estimate that the government’s cash for clunkers coffers would last for four months — they’re just about empty after less than a week. When Congress allocated nearly a billion dollars for the program, which provides vouchers to help drivers pay for […]

cash-for-clunkers-cars-logo UPDATED So much for the estimate that the government’s cash for clunkers coffers would last for four months — they’re just about empty after less than a week. When Congress allocated nearly a billion dollars for the program, which provides vouchers to help drivers pay for new, more fuel-efficient vehicles when they trade in gas guzzlers, it said the program would run until all the money was spent, or on November 1 of this year. Whoops.

This morning, with more than 250,000 guzzlers having come in for the $3,500-$4,500 vouchers, Democratic leaders in the House are fast-tracking a bill to add $2 billion to the program and extend it through the end of September 2010, Politico reports.

Some folks on Capitol Hill aren’t too thrilled with this idea (Politico has a great quote from Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas protesting the bill as picking winners in the auto industry, when the struggling poultry industry isn’t getting a “cash for cluckers” program). Word from policymakers yesterday that the program would have to be suspended unless it gets more cash, however, didn’t go down too well with thousands of dealers and car buyers who have already made deals expecting vouchers to come through. Still, the legislation could go through relatively smoothly because the bill would just move money around between different areas of the stimulus package, rather than allocating new dollars — and because legislators want to get off the Hill for their scheduled month off. More when we know more.

Update: That was fast. The House has just approved a transfer of $2 billion in stimulus funds to the cash for clunkers program, with a vote of 316-109. Next the bill goes to the Senate, where it will be considered next week.

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  1. It doesn’t matter if they dole more money. They problem is still the backlog. Read this article: The Real Reason for the “Cash for Clunkers” Suspension. The ex car salesman blog shares exactly why they stopped the program. Even reports that some sales managers are calling asking for the money back because they were denied the rebate when the final paperwork was submitted but their car was already ruined by dumping a solution in the engine. They now have no car. Scary. See: http://tinyurl.com/ml9sdo

  2. Cash for Clunkers Update: Incentives End Tomorrow Unless Senate OKs More Funds Monday, August 3, 2009

    [...] cash for clunkers program will last without approval of additional funds from the Senate. As we noted last week, the House fast-tracked a bill on Friday to fatten up the cash-for-clunkers coffers with another $2 [...]

  3. Bill Clinton: Cash for Clunkers Worked So Well, Let’s Do It for Electric Vehicles Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    [...] Cash for clunkers has worked so well at getting Americans to trade in their old cars for a significant rebate and a more fuel efficient car, why don’t we copy the idea for selling electric vehicles, said Clinton. He didn’t offer any specifics for what such a program would look like, but said the cash for clunkers program “proves that Americans will bite if you make it economical enough.” (At the same time he also acknowledged that the program’s miles per gallon limit for efficient cars might have been set too low.) [...]

  4. An Open Letter to the President, Encourage Green Innovation Don’t Destroy It Tuesday, June 1, 2010

    [...] stepped in to save these dinosaurs with enormous wads of taxpayer cash. Additionally, policies like Cash for Clunkers were designed to augment their bottom lines. The federal government even took control of 60 percent of General [...]

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