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Senate, House 'cash-for-clunkers' bills similar; more debate this month

November 15, 2010

Federal lawmakers continue to consider cash-for-gas-guzzlers bills that are seen by many as emergency measures to get Americans buying cars and trucks at a time when the domestic automobile industry is struggling to stay alive.

Provisions of the bills would allow for the swap of older, lower-mileage trucks and sport-utility vehicles for vouchers of up to $4,500 toward the purchase of a more fuel-efficient car or truck.

In most cases, according to the bills, the voucher’s worth would depend on how many more miles to the gallon the new vehicle gets. For instance, if a traded-in passenger car gets 18 mpg or less, the new car must get at least 22 mpg. If the new car gets at least 4 mpg more than the old car, the voucher would be worth $3,500; if the new car gets 10 mpg or better, the voucher would be worth $4,500.

For small trucks and SUVs, if the new vehicle gets at least 2 mpg more than the old one, the voucher would be worth $3,500; if the new one gets 5 mpg or more than the old, the voucher would be worth $4,500, according to the latest verions of the legislation.

The Senate is expected to take up the bill when it returns June 1 from its week-long Memorial Day holiday. The House is expected to resume debate later in June.