UPDATE: House OKs $2 Billion More For Cash For Clunkers

Mo’ money, mo’ clunkers

(Photo: wgba.images.worldnow.com)

If you were worried like we were that Cash For Clunkers was suspended due to lack of funds, worry not. It’s halfway to being extended, thanks to a House vote that approved $2 billion more dollars for the program. Now the program might last… a couple more weeks!

Because people are all over this deal

After that, you may need to borrow money. But for now, it appears that Cash For Clunkers may be extended. So long as your car’s not on the Cash For Clunkers list and meets the general qualifications, you can apply for the trade-in credit.

But will the Senate agree?

Aaron Smith reports for CNN that the House voted 316-109 to divert $2 billion from a U.S. Department of Energy program loan guarantee program. What will Secretary of Energy Steven Chu think of this? Furthermore, will the Senate be able to come to a consensus quickly? People want those cars they can’t really afford, you know…

Considering the overwhelming response to the Cash For Clunkers program (and tremendous activity on the less-than-able Cash For Clunkers Website), it’s no shock that the government has so far responded with urgency.

Obama is happy with the vote

“I’m pleased about the progress made in the House today about the cash for clunkers program,” said President Obama just before the approving vote. He has presented the Cash For Clunkers program as a stirring success: “I’m happy to report that it has already succeeded beyond our expectations. It’s working so well that there are legitimate concerns that the original funds might already be exhausted.”

But for your information, this wouldn’t have been a problem if the original $4 billion proposal for Cash For Clunkers had been instituted. But whoever said government was good at getting things right the first time?

Is this thing right?

Despite the obvious demand for Cash For Clunkers exceeding the supply of money, the CARS.gov Web site still showed that $780 was available for the program as of the morning that talk of suspending the program began. Again, getting things right the first time is rare. Yet I’m surprised that the government did not anticipate how many people would jump at this shiny new automobile program that’s sure to send many consumers closer to bankruptcy.

At least dealers are remaining cautious. More and more of them are requiring people to sign statements that they’ll return their new cars if government funding dries up. Which it still may do if the Senate cannot agree on the $2 billion extension.

Does my car qualify for Cash For Clunkers?

Think first… can you afford a new car, even with Cash For Clunkers? (Photo: westcoastsuccesswordpress.com)

Everyone wants to know. So you should know that vehicles that have been bought after July 1, 2009 are eligible for refund vouchers of either $3,500 or $4,500, depending upon how much of a mpg improvement the consumer can make with a new vehicle. If your car gets 18 mpg (combined highway and city) or less and is younger than 25 years old (and does not appear on the list I mentioned in the second paragraph above… CLICK HERE), it may just be eligible for Cash For Clunkers. Follow the link for more details.

The overall goal of the Cash For Clunkers program is to spark sales in the sagging auto industry while getting more fuel-efficient, greener vehicles on the road, thus saving consumers money on gas and helping the environment. It comes at the perfect time for America’s domestic automobile industry, as the credit crunch of the recession and massive bailouts have damaged confidence in its viability. CNN cites sales figures for June 2009, with fell to 9.7 million. That, according to CNN, is well below the pace of years past.

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