"Senate Reaches Deal To Save 'Clunkers' Program"

"The Senate reached a deal on saving the dwindling 'cash for clunkers' program late Wednesday, agreeing to vote on a plan that would add $2 billion to the popular rebate program and give car shoppers until Labor Day to trade in their gas-guzzlers for a new ride.

Following lengthy negotiations, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats and Republicans had agreed to vote on the plan Thursday, along with a series of potential changes to the bill, which was passed by the House last week. Reid has said Democrats have enough votes to approve the measure and reject any changes that would cause an interruption in the rebates of up to $4,500.

Reid said the agreement 'accomplishes what we need to accomplish.'

Late Wednesday, it was not clear that any of the proposed amendments stood a chance of passing. Some of them included placing an income limit on those benefiting from the vouchers and requiring the government to sell off its stakes in General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.

Any Senate changes to the bill would require another vote in the House, something that couldn't take place until the House returns in September from a monthlong recess."

Ken Thomas and Laurie Kellman report for the Associated Press August 5, 2009.

Thursday, August 6, 2009