Congress will gas up the hugely popular “Cash for Clunkers” car-swap program with an additional $2 billion, the Senate’s top Democrat vowed Tuesday (Aug. 4), according to the New York Daily News.
“We’ll pass ‘Cash for Clunkers,'” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., assuring reporters he had the votes to win approval following a White House meeting with President Obama.
Reid said the Senate would act before it goes on vacation Friday.
Car buyers have already zipped through most of the $1 billion initially set aside for the initiative.
The White House says the program would run dry of cash by the weekend unless the Senate authorizes the additional billions – a move already OK’d by the House.
The funding infusion should last through September, the White House predicted.
Republicans and some Democrats object to “Cash for Clunkers,” which has sparked more than 250,000 trade-ins, claiming it’s a bailout for the auto industry.
“Here we are incentivizing the purchase of cars, (and) we’re taking money from our grandkids by adding to the national debt,” Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., huffed. “Why not incentivize demand for boats? Or how about RVs?”
Coburn said the federal government is “clueless” about managing the program, insisting the need to inject more cash proves his point.
Supportive lawmakers say Cash for Clunkers has been a smash hit among consumers – and good for the economy.
“Dealers are packed and sales are booming,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.