Friday, July 31, 2009

Who Says The House Can't Move Fast When It's Important?


Nancy cracked the whip and Congress jumped! The Cash For Clunkers program was such an overwhelming success that it ran out of money this week. In order to make sure people who want to trade in their gas guzzling polluters for more energy efficient cars, the House immediately moved into action to suspend the rules and pass a supplemental $2 billion appropriations bill. According to the NY Times "The House shoved other business out of the way on its last day before the August recess to rush through a measure to address the cash shortage of the car program." It was all over and done by 1:30 this afternoon-- and it passed overwhelmingly, 316-109. 77 Republicans joined almost all the Democrats to pass the bill.

Needless to say, most of the America-Must-Fail Club crazies-- Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), lobbyist John Boehner (R-OH), Allen Boyd (Blue Dog-FL), Paul Broun (R-GA), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jim Marshall (Blue Dog-GA), Patty McHenry (R-NC), Mike Pence (R-IN), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Aaron Schock (R-IL), dirigible corruptionist Pete Sessions (R-TX), and John Shadegg (R-AZ)-- opposed the measure.
The Senate, which will be in session next week, will take up the program then. A spirited debate is likely, as some senators have said they will use the opportunity to push for tougher fuel-efficiency requirements. If the Senate does not go along with the House’s version, the House might have to return to work on a compromise.

Minutes after the House vote, President Obama praised the legislators for moving quickly. “We’re already seeing a dramatic increase in showroom traffic,” he said, adding that the program helps to reduce air pollution while helping car buyers.

The sudden legislative action was prompted by the overwhelming response to the program, formally known as the Car Allowance Rebate System, which its backers say has helped not only car buyers but the struggling automobile industry.

Earlier Friday, Robert Gibbs, the chief White House spokesman, offered assurances that the administration was looking for ways to continue the popular new program, which offers $3,500 to $4,500 for people who trade in an old car for a new one with higher fuel economy.

“If you were planning on going to buy a car this weekend using this program, the program continues to run,” he said. “If you meet the requirements of the program, the certificates will be honored.”

...“Consumers have spoken with their wallets,” Representative David R. Obey, Democrat of Wisconsin of chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in urging quick passage.

The panel’s ranking Republican, Jerry Lewis of California, complained that Democrats, who have a 256-to-178 majority in the House, were rushing the measure through with too little thought,-- “shoveling another $2 billion out the door,” in his words.

Lewis, one of the most corrupt members of Congress in history, knows that if the process could have been slowed down for a week or two, there would have been tremendous opportunities for bribery for the kinds of congressmen who engage in those kinds of activities. Karina in Speaker Pelosi's office posted all the details of the program and why it was important to get this through before the break.
More than 200,000 cars have already been bought through the program, and it is expected to spur the sale of up to 800,000 more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, while stimulating the ailing auto industry and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. The funds to immediately extend the “Cash For Clunkers” program are coming from a clean energy fund appropriated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will be returned so as to further our nation’s long term clean energy and innovation goals.

President Obama, of course, was very enthusiastic and, sensing trouble from the House of Lords-- worthless Missouri imbecile Claire McCaskill has already tweeted she's against it-- issued this statement:
“I want to thank leaders in the House of Representatives for working quickly and in a bipartisan way to pass legislation that will use Recovery Act funds to keep “Cash for Clunkers” going. This program has been an overwhelming success, allowing consumers to trade in their less fuel efficient cars for a credit to buy more fuel efficient new models. It has given consumers a much needed break, provided the American auto industry an important boost, and is achieving environmental benefits well beyond what was originally anticipated. The program has proven to be a successful part of our economic recovery and will help lessen our dangerous dependence on foreign oil, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving the quality of the air we breathe. I urge the Senate to act with the American consumers in mind to pass this important legislation.”

Obama should have been clearer; he didn't tell the senators how he wants them to act-- and many of them have every intention of acting very badly. McCain and DeMint, for example, have already said they intend to filibuster the bill and Dianne Feinstein sounds just as uninterested in seeing it pass.

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At 7:29 PM, Anonymous me said...

This program is just another god-damned government ripoff.

First, the "high fuel efficiency" new cars have to get only 22 mpg! That's terrible mileage!!

And for SUV's (yes, you can even get government money to buy a POS SUV), it's even lower! All the way down to 15 mpg!

And for some new vehicles, there is NO mileage requirement. None. You read that right - you can buy yourself a monster truck that gets 2 mpg, and get a government reward for doing it.

If they really had concern for gas mileage, they'd make the requirement 30 mpg. But no, that's not what they're after. Instead, they're buying votes from trailer trash and campaign contributions from automakers.

Second, you can buy a car up to $45,000 with this program. Christ, that's as much or more money than most people make in a year. Who's benefiting from that? Not the average Joe.

Third, it rewards people who have been driving beat-up, crappy cars for years. People like me, who already own a 30+ mpg car, get left out in the cold.

Not entirely left out though - we still get to pay for this boondoggle (after paying the banksters, of course).

Jesus, I am so angry. The government has become so unspeakably corrupt it's hard to imagine. Our country cannot survive corruption on this scale.

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Rick Sanchez said...

This cash for clunkers is a joke. Sold as a plan was to reduce carbon emissions, it has really be a thinly veiled corporate welfare program.

Common sense people. Just think of the size of the carbon footprint to build a new car from scratch. You have to mine for the metals, drill for the oil to make all of the plastic parts, ship it all, smelt the metal, cast, forge and machine the parts. Then there is energy consumed by the workers in all of these factories and getting to and from the factories and the advertising and marketing to sell the car. That is an ENORMOUS carbon footprint. One estimate I read said that the energy it takes to build a new car from scratch to showroom is roughly the equivalent of driving a hummer 12,000 miles a year for 7-10 years.

So if people are trading in a "clunker" which could be driven for another 3-6 years for a new car that may only be getting 2 or 3 mpg improvement, we have just succeeded in raising the carbon footprint by 250,000 hummers driving for 7 years.

In theory, and if the cash for clunkers bill MAY have worked if the requirement was that you had to prove an improvement of at least 15 mpg. In reality it was pandering to the car manufacturers to boost sales.

If anyone has been paying attention, the commercials touting "bring your clunker in" for a new car are all showing big Ford and GM trucks and not fuel efficient vehicles as the prize.

Once again, it's a "look over here" move by the status quo.

At 8:39 AM, Anonymous caorl said...

It does seem like the whole WEST has now done this, all the way from the German's to the British - Although I do think that it was the Americans that led this..


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