A lawmaker says he's been assured by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the financially strapped "cash for clunkers" program will be good at least through today.
Michigan Sen. Carl Levin said he got the word from the Obama administration as members of the Ohio and Michigan congressional delegations huddled on Capitol Hill to discuss ways to keep the popular program going.
Beyond today is unknown (although CNBC is reporting "through the weekend") but it looks like they will do their best to find a way to keep this going, despite Dianne Feinstein's best attempts to screw it up and make it more complicated than it needs to be. The outreach to lower income used car buyers would be nice, but changing the mileage requirements would be a bureaucratic nightmare at this point in time, more than it already is - and if the Senate moves to block any funding based solely on that criteria, well, they're idiots. But you knew that.
Keep this going, Congress. Good for the environment, good for the economy, good for the manufacturing base. This is the kind of stimulus spending that will create immediate demand and help put a damper on the increasing unemployment numbers, as suppliers will need to retain workers to fill the empty spaces now appearing on car lots.
We may even get Ohio back on our side. Don't blow it.
UPDATE: Just as I posted this, it was announced the House is seeking $2 billion for the program and will vote on it this afternoon. They leave after today for vacation, the Senate will be around next week, and Stabenow is predicting that it will be a "challenge" to get it through. Governor Granholm and Lt. Gov. Cherry are urging people to call their Congresscritters at (202)224-3121 - we know our Michigan folks are with us, so maybe you might want to try and talk to Snowe or Feinstein's office instead. You might get turned down for not being one of their constituents, but it's worth a shot.