Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Top Democrat predicts extension of 'cash for clunkers' plan

Top Democrat predicts extension of 'cash for clunkers' plan

The Democratic leader of the U.S. Senate Harry Reid on Tuesday predicted that Congress would this week extend a wildly popular plan to entice Americans to trade in gas guzzling cars.
The "Cash for Clunkers" plan, which offers drivers up to US$4,500 to replace obsolete autos with more fuel efficient models, exhausted its US$1 billion budget in a weeklong spree which boosted depressed car sales. Senate Majority leader Reid said after a meeting with President Barack Obama that despite congressional wrangling over the plan, he was confident he had the votes to extend it.
"We'll pass Cash for Clunkers," Reid said predicting the bill, already approved by the House of Representatives, would pass before senators leave town for their summer break on Friday.
The top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell meanwhile also signaled that the legislation would pass, despite complaints by some in his party that the scheme is a waste of taxpayer money.
"What I anticipate is that it will be completed before the end of the week, what we'll be negotiating over is the appropriateness of some amendments to the bill," McConnell said. Some senior Democrats had also voiced concerns about the program, complaining that money was financing purchases of cars with barely more impressive efficiency ratings.
The House voted on Friday to pump another US$2 billion into the scheme which has been a rare ray of hope for car makers, including General Motors and Chrysler, which are working through bankruptcy.
While the "Cash for Clunkers" program boosted auto sales by as much as 200,000 vehicles in a single week, overall industry sales remain at levels not seen since the recession of the early 1980s.
Officials said that talks at Obama's lunch with Democratic senators, taking place on the president's 48th birthday, also included other key aspects of the president's agenda, including his signature healthcare reform effort.


Updated : 2021-10-18 20:03 GMT+08:00