Lawmakers withdraw an amendment attached to the massive economic stimulus bill under debate in the U.S. Senate that would have provided owners of gas-guzzling SUVs with a $10,000 voucher towards the purchase of a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Assn. calls the amendment’s defeat today a victory for consumers and small-business owners.
“We are thrilled that this amendment was withdrawn from the stimulus package,” AAIA President and CEO Kathleen Schmatz says in a statement.
“This amendment was full of potholes from the beginning, and once the senators were informed of all the unintended harmful consequences that would have resulted from inclusion of this amendment in the bill, they made a very wise and informed decision to remove this amendment from the stimulus package,” she says.
Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the legislation, known as “Cash for Clunkers,” to improve the fuel economy of the U.S. fleet and spur sales of vehicles from domestic auto makers.
The plan would have set aside $16 billion to remove some 1.5 million vehicles from America’s roads and apply only to households with an income less than $75,000, or individuals earning less than $50,000 annually.
The gas guzzler would have had to be at least 10 years old, with fuel economy of less than 25 mpg (9.4 L/100 km) if it were a car and 20 mpg (11.7 L/100 km) if it were a truck. The new vehicle would have to improve fuel economy by 5 mpg (2.1 km/L), and the older one would have been crushed.