An effort proposed in Congress last month to jump start sluggish new car sales in the United States has apparently been canned. The so-called “Cash for Clunkers” program, which would have provided up to $16 billion in rebates to buyers of new, efficient vehicles, was met with applause from automakers but criticism from many Republicans.
The one issue that met the most debate was that the vehicles eligible would have to have been assembled in the United States – tilting the bill in favor of the Detroit Three. Despite enthusiasm from President Barack Obama, Iowa Democrat Senator Thomas Harkin pulled the amendment, citing concern from Republicans representing states where foreign automakers build cars. Even though those vehicles would have been accepted in the program, there was concern that the bill should not be limited to just U.S.-built automobiles from foreign companies.
The program would have called for up to $4,500 in vouchers aimed at putting drivers of older, less efficient vehicles in new, clean vehicles – both reducing energy and stimulating new car sales.
A plan for the government to purchase up to $600 million in fuel efficient new vehicles to replacing aging fleet vehicles is still under consideration, even though there is some indecisivness among politicians over the issue.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was among the plan’s detractors, however.
“I doubt if the government buying $600 million worth of automobiles would provide the kind of stimulus that we’re talking about here,” McConnell said on Sunday in an appearance on the CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
The source, LLN, even used a picture of a green Grand Am (the Pontiac version of the Achieva), what more of a sign could you want? 😛 Too bad it doesn’t sound like it’ll happen… well too bad for John anyway, not the tax payers pockets.