Cash For Clunkers Funding Delayed by Amendments to Bill?
By Brendan Moore
It looks like the “Cash For Clunkers” program is going to be extended, but, there is a problem.
Senate Republicans want to add several amendments to the bill that the House passed and if that happens, then the incentive will be suspended again, while the amendments are debated by the House, and then voted on by the House.
Neither the Democratic Senate leadership nor the Republican Senate minority leader will delineate what is in the proposed amendments.
Since the House will return from recess until after Labor Day, the “Cash For Clunkers” program would be in limbo at least until then.
Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid has stated that he believes that the House bill will be passed this week, possibly as soon as today.
The Democratic senators that had previously made statements that they wanted to change the funding terms so that a greater fuel economy gain was realized by consumers that participated in the plan have now dropped their demands, and are now supporting the increased funding plan as exactly it came from the House.
If the enhanced funding is not approved by the Senate this week, it could present a problem in terms of funding the deals currently in the pipeline that were written after the initial funding for “Cash For Clunkers” ran out, and before the extra funding was approved. If extra funding is never approved, these deals become an even bigger problem, since the Obama Administration has promised that those deals would be processed. The money will have to come from somewhere else.
Additionally, a high level of uncertainty regarding the continuation of the “Cash For Clunkers” program confuses the public and the automobile dealers, which will hurt participation by both parties.
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