August 6th, 2009
03:51 PM ET
5 years ago

$2 billion cash for clunkers deal imminent

WASHINGTON (CNN) – With the Senate poised to pass a bill Thursday night expanding the "cash for clunkers" program with an infusion of $2 billion, White House aides say President Obama will quickly sign the bill into law by the end of the week so there's no interruption to the popular incentive this weekend.

"He's going to want to make sure the funds are in place by this weekend," one senior White House official noted because of the particularly brisk weekend business the program has sparked.

There has been concern the program is so popular it will run out of its initial $1 billion in funding if the Senate leaves for recess this week without completing a deal. Several top Republicans, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, raised concerns about pouring more money into the program at a time when the government is deep in debt.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and other top Democrats have been lining up votes for the expansion by making the case that the program is providing a boost to the economy by increasing weak auto sales, while also helping the environment by getting "clunkers" off the road in favor of more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Several Democratic officials told CNN the hurdles have been cleared in order to allow the Senate to pass the bill with new money, which was passed by the House last week, on Thursday night. Reid is expected to bring it up for a vote around 7 pm or 8 pm ET, according to the officials, and then it is expected to be quickly sent to Obama's desk for his signature by the end of the week


Filed under: Harry Reid
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Larry

    That's a very successful program. Nice job Mr. President.

    August 6, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Me

    It's only money. We can always print and borrow more with no negatives. Right? Right?

    August 6, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. ANGIE IN PA

    This is a great program
    1- helps auto sales
    2- keeps jobs
    3- good for the enviorment

    Good Job President Obama and Democrats the only reason the Republicans are against it is because its WORKING Its stimulas and it wasnt their idea!

    August 6, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. DiBiase/Bad Newz, VA

    A government program that works. I guess republicans just turn a blind eye to these government run programs. I want to see does this get any votes from the right when all of them voted against the stilulus bill. Who's going to fall into the trap?

    August 6, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. makesUwonder

    I can hardly wait. More people to bail out when they can no longer afford these car payments.

    I have a clunker that's paid off. She runs just fine and all her dents and dings just give her more character. Why would I trade her in for monthly car payments and higher insurance rates. Just doesn't make sense, that's why I plan on keeping the old gal until her wheels fall off.

    August 6, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Ancient Texan

    Ill-conceived waste of taxpayer money. Not helping the car companies that are on life support with taxpayer money, GM or Chrysler. Mostly Japanese cars being sold. So in essence, I'm assisting my neighbor buy a Lexus that I know he can't afford, and will default on.

    August 6, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Johnny DC

    Of course it's popular. Anyone with a crappy car can get a free handout from the rich taxpayers to upgrade their ride.

    Offer the lowest class a chance to kill the rich and take their money, they'll take it every time.

    Bravo America. This is what you voted for.

    August 6, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. George

    Good news for America. Bad news for the GOP. They want all to fail.

    August 6, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Len in Washington

    As to McCain and his gang. Here's their montra.....

    "Party Ideology before the good of the Citizenry!"

    disgusting.........

    August 6, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. The Other Michael in Houston

    I still say the program sucks! Trade in your fossil feul polluting truck for a fossil fuel polluting car. Okay fair enough, the car does get more miles on the gallon, but tell the truth President Obama, this has nothing to do with the eniviroment, this is a way for auto companies to stay in business. Mr. President, you have done some alright things in your first 200 but please, do not insult my intelligence

    August 6, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. Asian4Hillary

    Where are they getting the money? Oh Ok, borrowed from China, thanks for putting this country more in debt.

    August 6, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Jon in CA

    Oh Goodie...

    ....we taxpayers can continue subsidizing Foreign car-makers and then (12-24 months from now) have ANOTHER bail-out for these new car owners who can't make their car payments.

    August 6, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    Yeah, the unemployment rate in Japan is dropping like a rock! Good reasoning, Senator Reid.

    August 6, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Well, this should pretty much make the GOPers angry than anything else has so far: the prorgam is a great success and widely recognized as such, so they want nothing more than for it to be terminated.

    August 6, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. worriedmom

    You know Dennis MIller said it well. You get these people thqt drive a $4500 clunker, tradie it in for a 45,000 vehicle and soon you will see instead of housing crisis, you will be paying for everyone that can't pay the bill on their new cars.
    What a waste of money. give me $4500 and let me spend it the way i want to, afterall it is my money you are spending!!!

    August 6, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. jaye

    Thank you President Obama!!!

    August 6, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Kevin in Ohio

    The success....or failure..... of this program will be evident by the end of the year. My bet is that it will fall flat on its face, and create more problems than it is solving.

    August 6, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. Just Me

    I think another $2 billion to extend this program is fine ... but beyond that, I don't think the government should keep paying people to buy new cars – there are better, more worthy programs that could use the money.

    It's a great temporary boost for auto dealers, but the program has its problems (nothing is perfect) and the longer it runs, the more apparent the problems will be.

    August 6, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. RLE

    for those of you once again who spew talking points check out the information beforehand; please note that you are not aloowed to buy a $45,000 car and also you must get between 8-10 miles more per gallon to consider the trade a deal and by the way they are still doing credit checks so if someone was on the brink of losing their house I don't believe they will receive a car loan

    August 6, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Cnn please post my comments! 1 love!

    Of course Repubs wherewere you when bush started an illegitimate war and "flushed" tax dollars down the drain? Why do you guys hate your fellow Americans? Every time the average American wins the republicans cry wolf!!! what a shame the Repubs have become! Cash for clunkers is benefiting Americans theeconomy and the environment and the republicans cry wolf! Jesus could feed turn loves of bread into food for all Americans and the Republicans would still cry wolf!

    August 6, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. Expat American

    What is the policy for turning in, say, a neighbor's ugly petrol guzzler? Can I get some clams for that?

    August 6, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  22. Mississippi Mike

    Why are we destroying these cars? Should we re-sell them or give them to the poor? This is such a wasteful program.

    August 6, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Katie B in NC

    "Several top Republicans . . . raised concerns about pouring more money into the program at a time when the government is deep in debt."

    The federal government spends $3 billion in half a day. it's a drop in the bucket! And THIS $3B will create $18B in economic activity and have a real effect on GDP. The economists are saying this is one of the best stimulus ideas yet. Why can't the Repubs see that?!

    August 6, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. seebofubar

    OK all you nuts. You are looking at this in a short sided. What are car sales going to be next year when there is no demand. Who is going to bail out the loan companies when many of these loans go into default.
    4 out of the top 5 models bought under this program were forign models, more of your tax dollars just went overseas. Scrap yards are loosing money because they can't sell the used parts only turn the cars to scrap metal. This should have been for American made cars only. The program should have been a tax rebate for buying efficient American made cars, not this. This is a bad deal for America.

    August 6, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. matt

    obamas wife looks like a clunker must have to many miles wrap up on it

    August 6, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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