House OKs $2 billion for 'cash for clunkers'

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. House voted overwhelmingly Friday to rush $2billion into the popular but financially strapped “cash for clunkers” car purchase program, heeding calls from consumers eager to take advantage of thousands of dollars in trade-in incentives, reports The Louisville Courier-Journal.

House members approved the measure 316-109 within hours of learning from U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the program was running through its original $1billion. The Senate has yet to act, but the White House said weekend deals would count, no matter what.

President Barack Obama said he was encouraged by the House action to keep alive a program that had “succeeded well beyond our expectations.”

Senate approval for the extra $2billion seemed less certain. When the Senate approved $1billion in funding for the plan in June, Democrats struggled to round up enough votes.

Even before news late in the week that money was short, many dealers — including some in Kentucky and Indiana — were warning customers that they'd be responsible for the rebates if the federal government didn't come through.

“We are getting disclosures signed to cover us in case we don't get the money,” Doug McNally, used car manager at Clapp Volkswagen in Clarksville, Ind., said Friday. “We can't guarantee what the federal government won't guarantee,” reports The Louisville Courier-Journal.

Copyright-The Louisville Courier-Journal

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