'Cash For Clunkers': How Much Longer And How Do You Get Some? : The Two-Way Senate scrambles to keep "cash for clunkers" program going.
NPR logo 'Cash For Clunkers': How Much Longer And How Do You Get Some?

'Cash For Clunkers': How Much Longer And How Do You Get Some?

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Will you be able to get some cash for that clunker?

That's the question as eyes shift to the Senate this week, where lawmakers will now take up the House-approved plan to add $2 billion to the "cash for clunkers" program that was designed to stimulate car sales — and did just that, perhaps all-too-well.

In just a few days last week, the program's first $1 billion ran out as car owners made more than 240,000 deals (says Rep. David Obey, D-Wis.) to get rid of older, gas-guzzling autos in favor of more fuel-efficient models.

Yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said on C-SPAN's Newsmakers that deals made today and tomorrow will be honored no matter what happens in the Senate. "We will continue the program until we see what the Senate does," he said.

As for the program, "we ran out of money, something must have worked!" LaHood added.

C-SPAN's put the video of LaHood's interview, along with the arguments made on the floor of the House against and in favor of the additional funding, online here.

So will the Senate act this week? ABC News' Jonathan Karl looks at the rules and says there's a good chance it will not:

"Unless there is unanimous consent in the Senate — that is, unless every Senator agrees — it will take three days to get a bill on the schedule and the Senate's August recess is due to begin on Friday. ... Unanimous consent seems unlikely for the program that gives cash vouchers to those who trade in their gas guzzling cars: it faces bipartisan opposition from several conservative and liberal senators. The liberals think the mileage requirements are too lax. The conservatives, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., say the program is a boondoggle and amounts to another bailout of the auto industry."

Meanwhile, if you're still trying to figure out whether that '91 Crown Vic in the driveway qualifies for a rebate from the cash for clunkers program and what kind of vehicle you could buy to replaced it, here's how to figure that out:

— Head to CARS.gov, the Transportation Department's website for information about the Car Allowance Rebate System.

— Click on MPG Ratings.

— Follow this link to: "Determine if your trade-in qualifies"; and "Determine if your new vehicle qualifies."

The text of the House-approved bill, by the way, is posted here.

In the House, the legislation passed by a vote of 316-109, with 8 members either not voting or voting "present." Of the "nays," 95 were Republicans and 14 were Democrats. Click here to see how the members voted.