Upton looks for more ‘clunkers’ cash

Published 9:28 am Friday, July 31, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), co-chair of the Congressional Auto Caucus, made the following statement today upon learning that the $1 billion designated for the “Cash for Clunkers” program has already been exhausted.

Upton helped lead a conference call with the entire Michigan Congressional Delegation Thursday evening and the delegation will meet first thing Friday morning to map out a strategy to ensure the program is quickly infused with cash. Upton also conferred with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and White House officials Thursday evening on the urgent need to continue the program. “Cash for Clunkers” was authorized for $4 billion, but only $1 billion had been appropriated in legislation that was signed into law last month.

“In just four days, we have done more to stimulate the economy with ‘Cash for Clunkers’ than any government program since the downturn began last fall.

“There has not been a more cost-effective program to invigorate auto sales and send the signal to Michigan’s automakers and suppliers, every family in the auto business, that hopefully the pain is over and the rebound has begun, and just maybe…we can all go back to work.

“I can think of no better use for unspent stimulus dollars that are gathering dust than financing ‘Cash for Clunkers’ – a most successful job creation program. We have lost 1 in 5 manufacturing jobs the past 17 months – many of them in the auto sector and we cannot afford to lose anymore.

“This program has been a boon for every community with a car dealer, a boon for automakers and suppliers, a boon for local newspapers and broadcasters, pumping cash into the economy when we needed it the most – we must immediately extend this program.

“I’ve heard from dealers, families, and industry officials of the critical need to continue this incredibly stimulative program.”