House finds $2 billion to keep ‘Cash for Clunkers’ alive for qualifying cars

The House of Representatives voted today to extend the Cash for Clunkers program, after it exceeded expectations and burned through $1 billion in funding in its first week. The additional $2 billion in funding still must be approved by the Senate, which is expected to take up the matter next week. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the program will not be suspended in the interim, so car buyers may use the program to buy cars this weekend.
People can determine if their cars qualify for the program by visiting the U.S. Department of Transportation at The program offers consumers $3,500 to $4,500 in rebates from stimulus funds if they trade in an older vehicle that gets less than 18 miles per gallon for a new fuel-efficient vehicle.
The House voted 316-109 to extend the program, showing bipartisan support that bodes well for a similar outcome in the Senate.
The House vote took place as President Obama was speaking to reporters about the economy in the White House Diplomatic Room. The ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program figured prominently in his remarks:
Now, one of the steps we’ve taken to boost our economy is an initiative known as “Cash for Clunkers.” Basically, this allows folks to trade in their older, less fuel-efficient cars for credits that go towards buying fewer, more — newer, more fuel-efficient cars. This gives consumers a break, reduces dangerous carbon pollution and our dependence on foreign oil, and strengthens the American auto industry. Not more than a few weeks ago, there were skeptics who weren’t sure that this “Cash for Clunkers” program would work. But I’m happy to report that it has succeeded well beyond our expectations and all expectations, and we’re already seeing a dramatic increase in showroom traffic at local car dealers.
It’s working so well that there are legitimate concerns that the funds in this program might soon be exhausted. So we’re now working with Congress on a bipartisan solution to ensure that the program can continue for everyone out there who’s still looking to make a trade. And I’m encouraged that Republicans and Democrats in the House are working to pass legislation today that would use some Recovery Act funding to keep this program going — funding that we would work to replace down the road. Thanks to quick bipartisan responses, we’re doing everything possible to continue this program and to continue helping consumers and the auto industry contribute to our recovery.

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