House Votes to Add $2B to Clunkers Program
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2009 3:50 PM CDT
Cash for Clunkers signs are shown outside Superior Pontiac Buick GMC Friday, July 31, 2009 in Dearborn, Mich.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The House voted today to beef up the "cash for clunkers" program to the tune of $2 billion, but that doesn’t mean shoppers and dealers are any clearer on the federal program, the Detroit Free Press reports. “It is an absolute total mess,” one dealer says. One customer who made a last-minute deal is more charitable. “I know how the laws go—they go through and they don’t have the processes in place to handle them.” She works for the Social Security Administration.

“We’re flying on the full strength and credit of the United States government,” another dealer says. “For better or worse.” And it could be worse, the New York Times reports, as the bill the House passed today moves to the Senate next week. Some senators are resolutely opposed, while others are demanding higher fuel economy standards for new cars bought through the program. An optimistic President Obama offered a ray of hope after the House vote: “We’re already seeing a dramatic increase in showroom traffic.”