WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKOW) -- President Obama applauds extension of 'cash for clunkers.'
"I want to thank the United States Senate for acting in a bipartisan way to use Recovery Act funds to extend the ‘Cash for Clunkers' program. Now, more American consumers will have the chance to purchase newer, more fuel efficient cars and the American economy will continue to get a much-needed boost. ‘Cash for Clunkers' has been a proven success: the initial transactions are generating a more than 50% increase in fuel economy; they are generating $700 to $1000 in annual savings for consumers in reduced gas costs alone; and they are getting the oldest, dirtiest and most air polluting trucks and SUVs off the road for good. Businesses across the country - from small auto dealerships and suppliers to large auto manufacturers - are putting people back to work as a result of this program. I want to thank Leader Reid and the members of the Senate who moved quickly to extend a program that benefits our recovery and our auto industry while reducing our economy's dependence on oil."
The Senate passed the extension Thursday evening. The House approved the measure last week.
Lawmakers made sure to keep the popular program alive before heading home for a monthlong vacation.
Under cash for clunkers, consumers qualify for up to $4,500 in federal subsidies when they trade in their cars for new, more energy-efficient models. In 10 days, the program has instantly increased sales for an auto industry long mired in recession.
Obama administration officials have said that without new funds, the program would have expired by Friday.