Congress Trying to Save ‘Cash for Clunkers’ Sales

By Beacon Staff

WASHINGTON – The House raced Friday to pass legislation pouring an additional $2 billion into the popular — but financially strapped — “cash for clunkers” car purchase program.

Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., revealed the floor plan after he and other lawmakers were assured by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the program would continue at least through Friday while the Obama administration looked for more money.

Democrats in both the House and Senate were exploring the possibility of votes as early as Friday to replenish the funding.

At the White House, press secretary Robert Gibbs sought to assure consumers that the program is still running and will be alive “this weekend.”

“If you were planning on going to buy a car this weekend, using this program, this program continues to run,” Gibbs told reporters.

He would not commit to any timeframe beyond that.

But Gibbs said administration officials and bipartisan leaders of Congress were working Friday morning “to find and develop ways to continue to fund this program.”

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said it wasn’t clear when a Senate vote would be held.

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