No sequel to ‘cash for clunkers’ but…

September 3, 2009

While the $3 billion “Cash for Clunkers” blockbuster is over, Congress is not finished with Detroit. AUTOS/

No one is talking about a “Return of Clunker” or “Son of Clunker” sequel, but it still looks as if car companies will renew their part in the congressional agenda even as another humongous production — healthcare — threatens to swallow the Capitol whole.

A priority for Democrats everywhere is to push the benefits of economic stimulus and pound the podium on job creation. Thursday, the focus is on the future of manufacturing in the economically hard-hit Midwest — a battleground in any election scenario.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will travel to Michigan to discuss legislation working its way through the chamber that would provide hundreds of millions of dollars to help spur development of advanced technology vehicles – like better hybrids and all-electric cars.

A fellow Democrat who is the driving force behind the bill, Representative Gary Peters, will join Hoyer and auto and supplier execs at a late-afternoon news conference in Troy. Peters’ district includes facilities operated by Chrysler and General Motors — both of which have cut tens of thousands of jobs and are trying to find their way after bankruptcy.

The Obama administration and fellow Democrats in Congress have pushed for billions in battery development and other projects this year to jump-start a new generation of fuel efficient vehicles and plant seeds for a “green” economy in Michigan, Ohio and other states where traditional manufacturing jobs have disappeared.

Photo credit: Reuters/Rebecca Cook (crushed vehicles to be shipped to the shredder in Detroit)

3 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Do you think these guys should take Mitt Romney with them although we don,t here about it in the main stream media it seems that he was instrumental in helping Ford restructure! The Obama auto companies are still loosing sales percentages yet Ford sales are up 17%.Could this be private enterprise working how can that this happen when the magnificent unions are running Obama Cars.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Ummm… instead of plugging a politician — from a political party that lost the the last elections, the White House, the House and the Senate, and which only seems capable of proposing policies (or blocking others’) which are supported by only the most extreme fringe wingnuts (roughly 10 to 15% of the American public) — perhaps the answer is much more simple, and not at all partisan: GM builds crappy cars that no one wants. But they do employ a huge number of Americans, and have all the infrastructure they’d need to build cars that are actually of interest to buyers. Seems like the president did the right thing to me, and these policies have been of most benefit to the auto companies that are most focused on building good quality products. Sounds like a great combination of market forces and government policy. But if you want to vote Romney in 2012, you go right ahead. Unlike most of the Republican leadership today, I personally believe in the power of the vote. Rather than threaten civil war, secession and violence over a few tax percentage points… and opposed to the outright lies these marketing guys speak every day to try and effect public opinion, and prevent any progressive legislation from passing (lies which are proven lies, time and time again), thank God most Americans still accept the basic principles of democracy: The majority gets what they want, unless our courts find we’ve violated something constitutional in the process. Such a simple, yet wonderful system of governance. The extreme wingnuts should crack a book sometime, and try speaking from wisdom rather than ignorance.

Posted by Thomas | Report as abusive

president did the right thing thomas?he has in the long term closed them down. The promise of a new generation of green cars is just an excuse to carry on giving them (unions) bale outs. Can you see a similarity in this story,in europe a socialist government was elected and their biggest supporters, the auto trade unions,were in trouble,because they had started making datsun and toyota in the country and they were not only better cars but cheaper as well.It was commonly thought that one of the reasons why they had fallen behind the competition was that they consistently went on srike and the labor walk outs stopped the production lines.So people formed the opinion that the auto unions were not being responsible striking all the time. The unions were annoyed at this assumption so to show the people that this was a misconception and that they were not” strike happy”they had a national strike. Anyway the government decided to do what Obama has done they took control of these companies thinking they would protect the unions,sadly wrong move, no more Austin or Rover or Triumph etc all closed down,or owed by BMW.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive