(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.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is continuing its campaign to pressure Republicans - particularly members who represent districts won by President Obama in 2008 - over health care reform.
Most are on the National Republican Congressional Committee's Patriot program list of potentially threatened incumbents, and the DCCC's list of top 2010 targets; the majority are already facing serious Democratic challengers.
"We already know Congressman Pat Tiberi took nearly $600,000 from the insurance industry," says the narrator in a minute-long radio spot slated to run in Ohio's 12th congressional district over the August recess.
"So what do you think Tiberi talks about when he meets with the big insurance companies? How they reap record profits while your health care costs skyrocket? Or how the special interests want to stop health reform? Whatever it is Tiberi and the insurance companies talk about, it probably isn't affordable health care for you…"
UPDATE Friday 10:30 a.m.: Michigan Sen. Stabenow tells CNN the Michigan, Ohio and Indiana congressional delegations are working on a $2 billion extension for the "cash for clunkers" program, which will come from reprogrammed stimulus money. She said there’s agreement in the House to do this today, but that the proposal's path in the Senate is unclear, and it could face hurdles there next week.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – This much seems certain about the Cash for Clunkers program: Consumers are happy to take government rebates to buy new cars.
The fate of the $1 billion trade-in program was up in the air over concerns that it may have already burned through its funds less than a week after it was officially launched.
It was unclear whether car buyers would be able Friday to trade in clunkers.
Congressional sources said early Thursday evening that the program would be put on hold. But Obama administration officials said later that Clunkers had not been suspended and that they were studying the situation.
"Auto dealers and consumers should have confidence that all valid ... transactions that have taken place to date will be honored," a White House official said in a statement.
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