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Cash for Clunkers

Few Cries From Congress for a Second Resurrection of “Cash for Clunkers”

5:13 PM EDT on August 21, 2009

One day after the Obama administration announced it would end the "cash for clunkers" program for good, the auto-state lawmakers who championed its creation have largely aligned with the decision and refrained from pushing for a third installment of the taxpayer-subsidized auto-purchase rebates.

20090731_cash_for_clunkers_33.jpg(Photo: MPR)

Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) told the Detroit News that Congress should add $1 billion more to the "clunkers" pot, but widespread complaints from auto dealers who are footing the bill for the rebates amid slow government reimbursement have led to frustration from some of the program's fans on the Hill.

Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH), the original author of the "clunkers" provision that ended up becoming law, said in a statement today that "the multiple
goals that we set for the program were indeed accomplished," suggesting the rebates have run their course. Sutton added:

I look forward to workingwith the Administration and my colleagues in the House and Senate on futureinitiatives that will continue the momentum gained through the ["cash for clunkers] programtoward an improved and stable economy.

The relative quiet from the Michigan delegation on the auto-industry benefit may not last long. With Congress poised to work next month, lawmakers could attempt to restart the program against the administration's wishes. But for now, it appears that "clunkers" is in its last throes.

(ed. note: Your regular companion at Streetsblog Capitol Hill will be taking some time away from the Potomac next week. Posting will continue on a lighter schedule; look out for thoughts from inestimable contributor Ryan Avent and the good folks at the Streetsblog Network.)

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