Last-Minute Cash May Save Clunkers Program 

The House is racing to the rescue of the extremely popular – but financially strapped – “Cash for Clunkers” program. Lawmakers want to addan additional $2 billion to the program. Congressional officials say the government plans to suspend the popular “Cash for Clunkers” program amid concerns it could quickly use up the one-billion dollars in rebates for new car purchases.The Transportation Department called congressional offices late Thursday to alertthem to the decision to halt the program, which offered owners of old cars and trucks $3,500 or $4,500 toward a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle.By late Wednesday 22,782 vehicles had already been purchased through the program and nearly 96-million had been spent.The program was scheduled to last through November 1 or until the money ran out, but few predicted it would be depleted in days. The program kicked off Friday, July 24.Lawmakers said they would try to find additional funding for the program, which under the legislation could grow to $4-billion for the funding of up to 1-million new car sales.”Cash for Clunkers” will be honored Friday, July 31. After that it is unsure.Maine Senator Susan Collins is credited with pushing for the passage of the legislation.