As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Cash For Clunkers Extension Sails Toward Senate Passage

A rare bit of good news from the Senate, as an extension of cash for clunkers looks primed for passage.

The Senate will approve another $2 billion for the popular "cash for clunkers" program, probably by the end of the week, confident Democrats predicted Tuesday as Republican efforts to block the funding faded.

"We'll pass cash for clunkers. Before we leave here," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "The vast majority will be voting for this," added Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. The Senate is scheduled to begin a month-long summer recess Friday.

Many Republicans, realizing that constituents and auto dealers were pushing hard to continue the program, reluctantly agreed.

"I don't get a sense anyone will block it," said Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee.

I don't know who would stand in the way of a wildly successful economic program and the first sustained benefit to the manufacturing base of this country in over 30 years. And the statistics on fuel economy are far, far better than anybody thought they would be. Sure, this is not the entire answer to the climate crisis. That's not its intention. The intention is to leverage $5 billion dollars into the economy, and extending the program would leverage another $10 billion. The fuel efficiency issue concerns adding 10mpg to a not-all-that-trivial 750,000 cars. But that was never the main goal.

The country needs a stable economy and job creation. This program provides it, with a reduction in foreign oil as a side benefit. Win-win.

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