Ken Thomas
Associated Press
April 2, 2009

Car shoppers may have a good reason to trade in their old jalopy for something that gets better gas mileage.

[efoods]Congress is developing “cash for clunkers” legislation that would provide vouchers to consumers who trade in their gas guzzlers and buy more fuel-efficient vehicles. Modeled after successful programs in Europe, the bills are designed to get more gas-sipping cars on the road and boost auto sales, which dropped more than 40 percent among the Big Three carmakers in March.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have signaled support for some type of car scrappage program and lawmakers are trying to develop a compromise that could win approval in both chambers.

“It will jump-start the demand for new cars, helping our auto industries,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. “And most importantly help families trade in expensive, low miles per gallon vehicles for cheaper fuel efficient vehicles.”

With General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC surviving on billions in government aid and few takers at car dealerships, lawmakers have been trying to develop incentives to help the auto industry and respond to environmental groups that want better fuel efficiency in the vehicle fleet.

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