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After all that Twitter sturm und drang Senator Claire McCaskill voted “Nay” today on HR 3435, the “Cash for Clunkers” extension. She was only one of four Democrats to vote against the extension (Leahy, McCaskill, Nelson, Warner). Seven republicans voted for it (Alexander, Bond, Brownback, Collins, Corker, Snowe, Voinovich). Bond and Brownback voted for it? Holy cow, there must have been a disturbance in the space/time continuum…


Title: Making supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2009 for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program.

Sponsor: Rep Obey, David R. [WI-7] (introduced 7/31/2009)      Cosponsors (5)

Latest Major Action: 8/4/2009 Read the second time. Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 146….

….Makes emergency supplemental appropriations of $2 billion for FY2009 and FY2010 to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program (Cash for Clunkers Program).

Amends the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Program to require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the DOT Inspector General to review and report to Congress on the administration of the program.

There is some opinion that the continuation of the program is a good thing:

Cash for Clunkers: Real stimulus

…But many economists agree that the popular Cash for Clunkers program is likely to provide a significant lift to more than just the battered auto industry.

“History shows that the success of stimulus packages depends on people responding to the incentives to spend money,” said Joseph Carson, chief economist at AllianceBernstein. “It’s having an intended, if not larger, impact than people expected…”

A program that appears to be having its intended effect on the economy. What’s not to like? In Claire’s case, if it runs against republican conventional wisdom that’s enough. As if it’ll make any difference with them in 2012.

The White House issued the following statement:


Office of the Press Secretary



August 6, 2009

Statement by President Barack Obama on Senate Passage of Cash for Clunkers Extension

“I want to thank the United States Senate for acting in a bipartisan way to use Recovery Act funds to extend the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program. Now, more American consumers will have the chance to purchase newer, more fuel efficient cars and the American economy will continue to get a much-needed boost. ‘Cash for Clunkers’ has been a proven success: the initial transactions are generating a more than 50% increase in fuel economy; they are generating $700 to $1000 in annual savings for consumers in reduced gas costs alone; and they are getting the oldest, dirtiest and most air polluting trucks and SUVs off the road for good. Businesses across the country – from small auto dealerships and suppliers to large auto manufacturers – are putting people back to work as a result of this program. I want to thank Leader Reid and the members of the Senate who moved quickly to extend a program that benefits our recovery and our auto industry while reducing our economy’s dependence on oil.”