July 31st, 2009
10:11 AM ET
5 years ago

'Cash for clunkers' good through weekend, maybe beyond

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(UPDATE, 1:25 pm: The House has passed the $2 billion extension of the cash for clunkers program 316-109; there will be no Senate vote before Monday)

WASHINGTON (CNN) – White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Friday the extremely popular "cash for clunkers" program is still up and running at least through this weekend, and said Obama administration officials are working furiously behind the scenes with Congressional leaders to find extra money to extend the program for a longer time period.

"It's up and running," Gibbs told reporters in his office, adding that it "can, will and should" continue indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan announced that lawmakers are closing in on a deal with the White House that would give the program, which allows consumers to trade in old cars for newer more fuel-efficient vehicles, an extra $2 billion to continue and expand it.

There had been media reports Thursday evening suggesting the $1 billion program had been abruptly suspended because the initial $1 billion to fund it was being exhausted more quickly than expected as consumers rushed to car dealers across the country to trade in vehicles.

But Gibbs told reporters the administration has kept the program going on Friday and "the program will be in place" for anyone who had been planning to make a car purchase this weekend.

"This program appears to be a success for car buyers, car dealers, car companies, and taxpayers," said Gibbs, adding the President believes it has the added value of helping the environment by getting less fuel-efficient cars off the roads. "We feel confident that we will have a solution people can agree on and the program continues."

Gibbs said the program has been "extremely popular" and that there are an estimated 20,000 certificates for vehicles swaps still waiting to be processed, a backlog that alarmed some government officials into believing the money will be tapped out shortly.

soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. DC in TX

    Please stop the "foreign cars" not good for America. Although the headquarters of the "foreign car" makers aren't in this country, many "foreign" cars are made in plants by American workers. Ironically, more and more "American" cars are made in plants in other countries. Please get off of the "us" vs. "them" soapbox and try to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.

    July 31, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  2. Kris

    I wish Republicans would learn how to pick their battles... I absolutely agree that there are some serious issues with this program, but since Repub's scoff at literally EVERYTHING the Democrats say and do lately, they aren't taken seriously when they actually have a legitimate reason to complain. They are the boy who cried wolf...

    Concerned Democrat ~

    July 31, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. USA CITIZEN

    Well, guess they have to sucker in in someone for the rest of the lemons produced.

    July 31, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Jefe

    In 2008, we spent at least $12B/month in Iraq to "spread democracy". Whatever one's opinion of the war is, one thing is for certain, that's $12B/month which is reducing the value of the dollar, while not benefitting our economy at all (except for weapons corporations and Halliburton). I think its safe to say $12B is completely reasonable to spend on the "Cash for Clunkers" program, considering.

    I do realize that a portion of the nation is highly focused on reducing government spending – unless that government spending is being poured into foreign nations, then they're big fans of big debt.

    July 31, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. notfooledtx

    This is a good stimulus program – people are spending money and business are reaping the benefits.

    The complaints about the program being a bad one are so questionable when so many have taken advantage of it. That nonsense is just baseless whining.

    July 31, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. jason

    i went to ford first to buy a new car...know what ? highly overpriced, extremely rude and pushy salesmen, basically told me buy their car or get off the lot..then i went to hyundai...impressive sales..and yes...screw ford, i bought a hyundai with better warranty, free roadsise assist for 5 years, and a couple lil freebies thrown in...4500 from the govt, 1500 rebate from hyundai.....bye bye american car dream...foRd offered nothing.

    July 31, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Chrissy

    The cars are getting junked. It clearly states that on the website. You get a minimal credit for the junking also

    July 31, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Robert

    So lets see.....the Obama Administration under estimated this by how much???? Duh – just think how much they are under estimating what Health Care and all their other programs are going to cost! America is in real trouble with this Administration.

    July 31, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. jaye

    This is awesome..and it works!!!
    KUDOS to the Obama Administration for dreaming this up!

    July 31, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Term Limits for Congress

    I believe this is a worthy cause so let's not worry about the mounting debt for the taxpayers.

    July 31, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. Auto Title Clerk

    Many of you have no clue what you're talking about. For instance, part of the program mandates the person buying the vehicle has to fill out a questionaire asking if not for the CARS Program would they be purchasing a new vehicle? Many people buying from our dealership has answered no. Another question put to them is if they did not have this program would they buy a new or used vehicle. Most have answered "used". So, this program is surely helping the auto dealerships sell their new vehicle inventory. Also, to the people stating that buy a clunker for $500 and flip it to $4500. The insurance companies have to send the dealership proof that the vehicle was insured for the past 2 years. Read up on the program and get a clue before you knock it down. Thank you.

    July 31, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Teri

    And still they want us to be supportive of a government-run healthcare program?! They can't manage something this "small" compared to healthcare, and it doesn't even make it a week.

    I wish and pray that people put aside party, race and any other stereotype and just look and listen to what this president is doing to our country. Is it truly what is best for us? Think long-term people, not instant gratification!

    July 31, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. Term Limits for Congress

    Ok. Get 4500 dollars to buy a car. Give the money to the people who own the company. Wait a minute- why doesn't the government just keep the 4500 and cut out the middle man?

    July 31, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. brian

    The program is broke because it worked so well. All of you naysayers are ridiculous. If the GOP hadn't griped so much more money would have been sent....

    July 31, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. Fred

    You mean to tell me that my 1989 Mazda 323 still gets 25MPG after 20 years on the road. I don't think so. Well then maybe the guy that bought that big SUV last year needs the money more than I do. After all I'm disabled and have a very limited income. Change the name of the program to Cash for Bad Choices Rewards for Stupidity.

    July 31, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    What an unsure time it has become for the whinning party of no. All your arguments are slowly and methodically being flushed down the toilet, one after another.

    One could almost feel sympathy for you. Almost. However, with a sinking GOP base, all that seems left of you are those who have spent the past 6 months in nothing more than criticize mode. Seems as if this is coming back to bite you big time.

    I wonder where the GOP could be today had it's membership actually taken ownership of the destruction they helped create, and worked together with the president to improve the situation.

    The clunker for cash program is money well spent. It actually helps save jobs here in the good old US of A. Imagine that.

    July 31, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. norb

    Buy American! Ford Fusion? Made in Mexico. Many of GM's cars/trucks are made in Canada. I think the new Equinox (chevy) motor is made in China.

    July 31, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. Four and The Door

    I couldn't take advantage of this program because, stupid me, I bought a car that got too good of gas mileage way back in 2000.
    If that wasn't stupid enough, I also bought a house with a mortgage I could afford to pay. To top it all off, I worked hard and kept my job. Well, at least I will be in a better position to pay taxes and give some support to people who weren't so stupid.

    July 31, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. jeff

    Great Idea.

    July 31, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. Me in Big D

    This program sucks – I bought a new car last year – paid full price, as I do every 3 years. These lazy bums that are using this program would have never bought a new car (they are usually used car people) without this program. By the way, Texas has been doing this long before the government started its program so people are getting $8 – $9,000.00 off the price of a new car!!@ I went to school, got an education and work hard so I have the luxury of buying a new car every 3 years or so. Never ever were any of my auto purchased a future clunker. Why are we rewarding these people for their bad purchases?

    July 31, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. moses

    Great! I'm sooo happy the car makers have landed another form of bail out so they can continue to support the exorbitant salaries for management and of course fund pensions and full benefits for thousands of "retirees", many of whom are still in their forties and see no reason to ever work again with the windfalls they've gotten from companies such as GM. Silly me, I'm retired and pay over $12,000 for health insurance (no vison, dental) and still get taxed over $20,000 in federal obligations every year. I'm getting sick of the Dems redistributing my wealth which I worked hard for all my life.

    July 31, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. howie

    Where O where is all the money coming from????????

    July 31, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. makesUwonder

    This administration can't even get this right and you want them to be in charge of your HealhCare. I don't think so.

    July 31, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. southerncousin

    Another waste of the money I work so hard for. Ill planned, ill conceived and ill administered. And these are the same people who are wanting to take more of the money I work for and take away my health care and raise my energy costs through the "cap and trade." I just don't know how democrats can stand these people who are running their party when they aren't home smoking dope and watching Oprah.

    July 31, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. Candy West Virginia

    It's part of the stimulus and it worked, too successfully! Don't you rethuglicans hate that??

    July 31, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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