The U.S. House has endorsed the "cash for clunkers" idea Congressman Bruce Braley of Waterloo proposed earlier this year.
"If you have a vehicle that gets less than 18 miles per gallon and you buy a new vehicle that has at least four miles per gallon of additional mileage economy, you are eligible for a $3500 voucher when you trade that vehicle in," Braley says. "If you get an increase in miles of gallon of at least 10 miles per gallon, you get a voucher for up to $4500."
The government payments would be available for those who trade in gas-guzzling pick-ups, too, and buy a new, fuel-efficient model. Cars and trucks with the worst record on gas mileage are often the cheapest vehicles on the lot. Braley, a Democrat, says helping to defray the higher costs of vehicles that get use less gas helps the economy.
"The whole point is to get these less fuel efficient vehicles off the road and replace them with better fuel-efficient vehicles that are going to stimulate the economy and preserve jobs by putting new cars out on the road," Braley says.
Braley’s "cash for clunkers" proposal passed the House on this afternoon on a 298 to 119 vote.
"The whole domestic auto industry — manufacturers, distributors and retailers — have been really hit hard by this recession. We’re seeing that happen right now in dealerships across Iowa, some of which are being closed," Braley says. "And by increasing demand we hope to stimulate the economy in these communities that are being hit so hard by the recession all over the country."
The "Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save" or CARS Act was initially introduced by Braley and two congresswomen — one’s a Democrat from Ohio; the other’s a Republican from Michigan.