Cash for Clunkers Passes House

From The Detroit Free Press: “WASHINGTON — The U.S. House approved an emergency $2-billion infusion for the cash-for-clunkers program this afternoon, with a plethora of lawmakers from around the country calling it a runaway success that should not be ended.”

The National Association of Auto Dealers is very supportive of the concept, but worries that a rushed or unclear process could leave dealers not reimbursed:

NADA Chairman John McEleney, an Iowa dealer, said the organization had been assured by the Obama administration that all transactions consummated through today will be honored.

“Nonetheless, until further definitive guidance on the availability of funding is provided by the administration, dealers who accept additional ‘clunkers’ deals may face a risk that they will not be reimbursed,” McEleney said.

At National Review Online, Henry Payne points to provisions of the law that merit some tough questions. From “Crush for Clunkers“:

[A] little noticed provision of the program requires that the trade-in vehicles be “scrapped, crushed or shredded.” The 136-page rulebook [PDF] by which NHTSA administers the Clunkers program is a revealing window into the planet-first ideologues that are now running our country….

[Demands] that the guzzlers be permanently shredded means that already hurting used-car and -parts businesses will suffer. By insisting that the cars not only be crushed — but also that their engines be disabled — Congress’s decree will penalize the industry at time when a dozen U.S. parts suppliers have filed for bankruptcy this year.

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