President Obama is now asking Congress to allocate another $2 billion to keep the program going, and has invited all Senate Democrats and two Senate independents to lunch at the White House Tuesday to pitch his case.
Some senators want to require better fuel efficiency, and more emission reductions, before they agree to put more money in the pot. Some may never support the program, saying it adds up to another bailout for the auto industry.
Either way, some observers say the program will likely end if the Senate doesn’t authorize additional funds by the end of the week when it heads out for its August recess.
Texas’ senior senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison, has not weighed in on the issue and her office did not respond to a call and email from the Star-Telegram on Monday.
The New Car Dealers Association of Tarrant County is pushing Cornyn and Hutchison to back the measure. “We’ve made our views clear to them,” said Lee Chapman, president of the group.
Fort Worth area dealers said they’re pleased with the sales generated by the program, but some questioned whether to extend it. Frequent rules changes and problems getting sales entered into the government’s computer system have dealers worried they might not get paid for all the deals they’ve made.
On every issue we have a waiting game with Kay... my bet is that Kay is against cash for clunkers... strongly against. She needs to shed the Kay Bailout label, even if this program is extremely popular with the American people. Texas also has a lot of car dealerships that are probably lobbying hard to keep it going.