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House passes 'cash for clunkers' bill, Senate stalls

November 15, 2010

The U.S. House on June 9 passed its version of the so-called "cash for clunkers" bill that gives $3,500 vouchers to customers who trade in a passenger car that gets 18 miles per gallon for a new one that gets at least 22 mpg. SUV, pickup truck and minivan owners of vehicles that get 18 mpg or less would get a $3,500 voucher if their new SUV, pickup or minivan gets at least 2 mpg more than their old vehicle.

Consumers also could receive the voucher for a leased vehicle.

Under the Senate version, new cars must get at least 24 mpg to qualify for a $3,500 voucher, and voucher allowances would grow to $4,500 if the new car gets at least 13 mpg more than the old car.

The House bill sets aside $4 billion to pay for the vouchers. With auto sales running at their lowest rate in four decades, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the bill could spur sales of about 625,000 vehicles; backers are hoping for 1 million.

If the Senate passes the measure, President Obama said he would sign into law whatever compromise the two chambers reach.

 

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