Senate Passes Funding for Cash for Clunkers ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Senate Passes Funding for Cash for Clunkers

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Senate Passes Funding for Cash for Clunkers

As expected, the Senate has passed the funding bill for the Cash for Clunkers program. For another $2 billion, the CARS program is expected to last through September. President Obama is expected to sign the bill ASAP.

The $2 billion is being transferred out of the money set aside for the Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Stimulus Act).

I would expect sales will slow after the initial rush, although dealers and the government are still working to clear all the claims already made. So it's hard to guess how long the CARS program will take to run through the next $2 billion. It only took a week to run through the first billion.

The Senate vote 60-37 to pass the bill, after stripping out the seven amendments attached by some of the Senators. If they hadn't stripped out the amendments, the House would have had to get together with the Senate to work out the differences. Since the House was already in recess, that would have delayed it until September. Which probably would have ended the program, as the Obama administration had already warned the program was out of money and would probably be done on Friday without extra funding.

The beginning text of the bill:
For an additional amount for `Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program' to carry out the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program established by the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act of 2009 (title XIII of Public Law 111-32), not to exceed $2,000,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2010: Provided, That such amount shall be available for such purpose only to the extent directed by the President, and shall be derived by transfer from the amount made available for `Department of Energy--Energy Programs--Title 17--Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program' in title IV of division A of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5): Provided further, That the amount under this heading is designated as an emergency requirement and necessary to meet emergency needs pursuant to sections 403 and 423(b) of S. Con. Res. 13 (111th Congress), the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2010.

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