As it stands now – and things could change quickly – Pres. Obama is calling for the inclusion of $600 million in the proposed stimulus plan to fund the government’s purchase of new, fuel-efficient vehicles. In fact, there’ve been a number of auto-centric elements proposed or actually included in the stimulus package. One “cash-for-clunkers” proposal, to encourage Americans to replace older vehicles with newer, greener products, has been withdrawn. But there’ a good chance, with the President’s support, that as much as $2 billion could be included for advanced battery research.
Such proposals are taking heat from minority Republicans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, calling the government fleet replacement program “wasteful spending.”
In an energized speech to Congressional Democrats, Pres. Obama, sounding like he was back on the campaign trail, spoke out loudly for the stimulus package, Thursday night. And in another speech, to the Energy Dept., he lambasted GOP lawmakers for calling the green car program “pork.”
“You know the truth,” said Obama. “It will not only save the government significan money over time, it will not only create manufacturing jobs for folks who are making these cars, it will set a standard for private industry to match.”
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