What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : (H.R. 3435) On passage of a bill that provided two billion dollars in additional funding for the “Cash for Clunkers” program; that program provided cash rebates of a few thousand dollars each to consumers to encourage them to trade-in their old gas guzzling cars for new ones that get better gas mileage (2009 house Roll Call 682)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R. 3435) On passage of a bill that provided two billion dollars in additional funding for the “Cash for Clunkers” program; that program provided cash rebates of a few thousand dollars each to consumers to encourage them to trade-in their old gas guzzling cars for new ones that get better gas mileage
house Roll Call 682     Jul 31, 2009
Member's Vote
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or not)
Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

This was a vote on H.R. 3435, which provided two billion dollars in additional funding for the “Cash for Clunkers” program that encouraged consumers to trade-in their old gas guzzling cars for new ones that get better mileage. Congress had originally passed legislation which created the program and provided one billion dollars in cash rebates, of a few thousand dollars each, to consumers. The goal was to encourage consumers to trade-in their old gas guzzling cars for new ones that get better gas mileage. The program was intended to reduce gas consumption and to stimulate new car sales. It was so successful, that the billion dollars in original funding was going to be quickly exhausted. Additional funding was needed. This legislation allowed the administration to transfer up to two billion dollars of previously-approved funds to the Cash for Clunkers program from the Department of Energy's Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee program. It was not anticipated that the loan guarantee program would need those funds for at least a year.

Rep. Obey (D-WI), the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, was leading the effort on behalf of the bill. He commented: “(C)onsumers have spoken with their wallets, and they are saying they like this program; and clearly it is doing what it was intended to do, to spur car sales in this sluggish economy. This action will keep it going . . . . ”

Rep. Israel (D-NY), one of the original sponsors of the Cash for Clunkers program, supported the bill. He noted: “(F)ew of us realized how well (the Cash for Clunkers program) would work. This program has been truly stimulative . . . We have doubled car sales over the past 5 days . . . It is creating jobs. It is creating a surge for car dealers. The American consumer is satisfied with it, and we need to continue it.” Rep. Miller(R-MI), who was also a sponsor of the Cash for Clunkers program, referenced the previous decision by the administration to provide financial assistance to the domestic auto industry and said “for those who keep saying that we need to get the government out of the automobile business . . . this is the way to do it . . . .”

Rep. Lewis (R-CA), the Ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee, expressed concern about the bill on procedural grounds. He noted that the car trade-in program had only been operating for one week and that Republicans had only been advised within the previous 24 hours of the need for the additional two billion dollars. Obey responded by saying: “(W)e are simply trying to react to one program that the public has latched onto. The demand for this was so great that within 3 days of its inception, the funds were, apparently, totally used up. That indicates that we need to do something if we don't want the program to shut down 3 days after it begins. That's what we're trying to do today.”

The legislation passed by a vote of 316-109. Two hundred and thirty-nine Democrats and seventy-seven Republicans voted “aye”. Ninety-five Republicans and fourteen Democrats voted “nay”. As a result, the House approved and sent on to the Senate a bill providing an additional two billion dollars for the “Cash for Clunkers” program that encouraged consumers to trade-in their old gas guzzling cars for new ones that get better mileage.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss