August 6th, 2009
03:51 PM ET
9 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. montag24

    Sure, most of the cars being sold are from Japan. And why not? They're more fuel efficient and more reliable than anything coming out of Detroit.

    And whose fault is that, I ask?

    Also, don't forget that those Honda's and Toyota's are unloaded on our docks by American workers, and transported by American drivers to dealerships owned by Americans. And the mechanics and parts desk employees in those dealerships? All Americans. And all kept gainfully employed. Sounds like a pretty good program to me.

    Suck it up, conservatives. You lose again.

    August 6, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    Did they remove the restrictions on what qualifies as a clunker? Apparently cars made before 1984 are not clunkers. Also cars that get more than 19mpg are not clunkers.

    I hope our elected "leaders" don't apply this type of logic to health care. Can you see it now? No, its not life-threatening if you can live for more than 6 months. That's not really a tumor – it's more like a bump, let's see if it grows. Sorry, your treatment plan is stuck in committee, but we hope to have a bipartisan solution soon.

    August 6, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. Gene

    So cutting taxes for the 2% that get 90% of the income is good, but a stimulus program that's available to EVERYONE is bad. Give me a break. If you want to comment on macro economics, learn something about it other then sound bites that have been thrown around for 30 years. This spending goes right to the GNP, and releases built up daemand. Where would the tax cut go? What well positioned person would spend during these economic times? This is like a direct transfussion.

    August 6, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Chandler

    The claims of Republicans make no sense. They aren't putting "new" money into the program, they are simply redirecting other stimulus money into a program that they know works.

    People want to deny the massive success of this program, simply for political reasons. That is so Anti-American, it isn't funny!

    August 6, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Joy

    WOW! It seems to me that this is a form of a tax rebate which serves multiple purposes. As mentioned previous it keeps jobs, generate sales taxes cities and states desparately need, sales cars, and helps the environment.

    By the way, the money is coming from previously allocated funds. This does not add to the deficit.

    August 6, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    A bailout is a bailout, nothing more than lost taxpayer money.

    August 6, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Mike in MN

    Once the addtional $2 billion runs out, car sales will nose dive. Since the government was eager to cough up an additional 2 billion to pay people to buy a new car, everyone will just sit back and wait for the government to fork out even more bribes to buy a new car. Once the goverment starts giving away money, people excpect it to be an entitlement .

    August 6, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. CNN hates Kelby's comments...that's why they don't post my comments

    I see GOPers try to depict this program as some sort of failure because it was so popular and it ran out of money sooner than expected...that's not failure, that is unexpected success.
    Did you want the program to fail?
    another argument is that money is going to foreign companies. Toyota has a plant here in many other foreign auto makers.
    Stop hating on success

    August 6, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. RealityKing

    Soooo glad you mindless progressives don;t mind paying for my new SUV's 30% drop in value when I drove it off the lot..

    August 6, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. JP

    The government borrows money to give to my neighbor to buy a car that my kids will get taxed to pay for. I assume this program is increasing the cost of used cars available since we are destroying the ones turned in.

    August 6, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Lisa, Saugus MA

    This would be a much better program if it involved other options. How about if you trade in you foreign made car (I have a Kia Optima with okay gas mileage), and purchase a U.S. made car from Ford, GM or Chysler, you would also qualify for the $4500.

    This way jobs may open in MI where these factories are primarily located. Right now Toyota and Honda as well as Kia as benefitting greatly from this program which doesn't help the U.S.

    Just a thought!!!

    August 6, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Zero.

    Anyone can elect a "Robin Hood". But he is Green.
    Black and Green, should never be seen..

    August 6, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. June

    The Neighborhood Stabilization Program should work like the"Cash for Clunkers". But it's hamper with to many rules for "First time Home buyers". Mr. President just get the money out to the American People and stop kissing the corporation butts. Thank you.

    August 6, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. Mike in LR

    All the Asian carmakers said...........hoorah for BO and the democrats. Toyota is leading the cheer.

    August 6, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. CvG

    For the critics

    as far as helping Japan – most popular car so far – Ford Focus

    loan applications are not affected – if you could not qualify for a loan without the program, you can not qualify with it. those that drive a lot will be able to make their payments in part with the money they save on gas and repairs

    a fair criticism – we are accelerating a year or 2 of car buying for many into a few months If the economy does not recover, all that will have happened is that the car depression is deferred and possibly made worse – but as part of an overall stimulus, it may contribute to the recovery. We should all hope so and not hope for failure and the suffering of many just so you on the right can claim you were right.

    August 6, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. Elle

    Wow, why do republicans and democrats have to fight over EVERYTHING?? This is obviously a very successful program both economically and environmentally. Really. You can't deny that. Every program will have its flaws, but overall this one is really successful and pushing our economy in the right direction.
    We're in debt. People are losing jobs. People are losing their homes. Anything that can help turn any of those three problems around is a big thumbs up from me.

    August 6, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. some random guy

    Best stimulus package idea so far. People buy cars and dealers, auto makers, sub-suppliers, truckers, railway companies, etc get more business… Workers get hired (or continue working). These people in turn purchase goods and services, etc, effectively stimulating economic growth…

    This is much better than giving a boatload of money to financials with little to no accountability who then give out huge bonuses.

    I love how people assume that these new buyers can’t afford the cars and will just default on the payments or that only Japanese cars are being sold. Wow.. it must a big burden to be so omnipotent. Actually I love how the Repuplican’ts just make stuff up… If you can’t use facts and logic just wing-it with BS…

    By the way.. the biggest seller is the Ford Focus… yep.. made right here in the US.. The second is the Honda civic, built in Ohio,… actually the top six are built in the US… (I stopped checking after 6)…

    Nice job Pres….

    August 6, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. Stacey, California

    Yeah, i agree withthe other half of the consensus...I really don't see how this truly helps the economy. I guess we will all have to see end result. But for those of you who are convinced that this will put folks in more debt, revert back to President Obama's repetitive remarks "...self responsibility..." If you are struggling don't go get yourself in more debt. I like to think of this program as incentive for those who can afford new cars, but just wasn't really interested in investing in one, initially.

    August 6, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  19. Seth

    I traded in an old truck that I leave at the aiport since I travel alot. Since they were giving me $3500 for something not worth $800 it was a deal. Maybe the last tax break I get in a while. Negotiated the cost before I told them I was doing Cash for Clunkers – thats the way to go. Bought a Lexus.

    August 6, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Embarrassed Member of The ReBirtherTea Party - Thugs R Us

    It works, therefore the Anti-Obama thugs hate it.

    August 6, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Christine

    Giving aid and assistance is a good thing. But this policy becomes an entitlement, have we forgotten why the housing economy went down, because of entitlement issue? How long should Americans who wants to save their hard earned money get taxed even more to continue this entitlement? This is somehow an indirect bailaout.

    August 6, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Brookfield Bill

    The Repubs are a hoot! Some are claiming the clunker program has been bungled because it was so successful so quick that it ran out of funds. Give me the name of any Repub who demanded more funding when the program was first passed. Critics are plentiful; leaders rare. I have yet to hear the Repubs propose one single meaningful program that would help revive the economy that their last leader left in shambles. Sorry, screaming "socialism" doesn't count!

    August 6, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Lisa - VA

    This is a great program. Some people (Obama haters) need to stop being a WET blanket.

    August 6, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Kevin B

    The programs a success, and the problem with success is.........??

    You republicans are a hateful, sad, anti-american bunch. It must suck to be you.......

    August 6, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. kishen c.rao

    at least it serves out people, not iraq GOP guys...ok...concentrate on health care reform...fellas...

    August 6, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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