Cash For Clunkers Program Gets Senate Approval
The United States Senate has officially passed a $1 billion program that's being called "Cash for Clunkers." The program gives owners of cars that get less than 18 miles per gallon (in other words, terrible gas mileage) the opportunity to turn in their vehicles for a cash voucher of $3,500 or $4,500.
The proposed bill was almost defeated by the Republican Party, but strong support from the Democrats was enough to push it through. Washington Senator Maria Cantwell changed her vote at the last minute and this was a key moment in the process. President Obama has yet to sign the bill into law, but is expected to do so shortly.
On the surface, the bill appears to be aimed at reducing global warming gases. After all, taking these inefficient cars off the road and replacing them with newer models that get better gas mileage will certainly be good for the planet. However, the true purpose of the program may, in fact, be to stimulate the struggling auto industry. After all, the cash voucher money will likely go straight into the pockets of companies like GM and Ford.
The Cash for Clunkers bill was initially sponsored by Debbie Stabenow, a Senator from the state of Michigan. It should come as no surprise that she was an ardent supporter of the bill, seeing as Michigan has been hit hard by the economic turmoil of recent months.
The program is expected to get rolling by August, so those of us who are driving around so-called "clunkers" only have to do so for a few more months.