Congress and industry groups are hoping that passage of the so-called "Cash for Clunkers" law can boost vehicle sales, car insurance and other economic spending.
The bill would provide cash vouchers for people who trade in older models in favor of new, more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Although the law has passed muster in the House, it has yet to clear the Senate. The House plan would offer vouchers worth up to $4,500. The program would be authorized for up to one year and provide for approximately one million new car or truck purchases, proponents said.
Representative Edward J. Markey, chairman of the House energy and environment subcommittee, said the proposal is a "triple play" for the country's auto makers, consumers and the environment.
Similar programs in Europe have already helped reduce the decline in auto sales there, according to recent analysis by R. L. Polk & Co.
Called "scrappage" programs, these incentives for trading in old vehicles spurred 500,000 additional passenger vehicle sales in Western Europe from January through May 2009.
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