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Pelosi: 'Cash for Clunkers' Bill a Benefit to Our Economy and to Our Environment

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WASHINGTON, June 9, 2009: Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor this afternoon in support of H.R. 2751, the so-called "cash for clunkers" bill, which will allow consumers to trade in their old, gas-guzzling vehicles and receive vouchers worth up to $4,500 to help pay for new, more fuel efficient cars and trucks. The legislation passed by a strong bipartisan vote of 298 to 119. Below are the Speaker's remarks.

"I thank Congresswoman Sutton, Representative Israel, Representative Inslee -- all of whom worked very hard to come to a position that we can all support today. Mr. Markey is Chair of the Select Committee and of course, Mr. Dingell, the Chair Emeritus of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Others -- Mr. Braley, Mr. Stupak -- well, all of our colleagues have had an important role -- Mr. Kildee, and our colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle.

"Hopefully we'll have a good, strong bipartisan vote today on this legislation because you all have given us an opportunity to pass legislation that is a benefit to our economy and a benefit to our environment. We can create and save jobs while addressing the air pollution issue, which is so important to our children's health.

"We will do this by allowing Americans to trade in their old, gas-guzzling vehicles and receive vouchers worth up to $4,500 to help pay for the new more fuel-efficient cars and trucks. This bill is quite a remarkable piece of legislation and the timing is perfect. And when they trade in these cars, they will strengthen America's auto industry, creating jobs and reducing layoffs and save more than 250 million gallons of gas.

"This has been tried and true around the world in recent months with great success -- in Germany, for example, it boosted auto sales by 20 percent. Because this legislation will deliver consumer savings, increase vehicle demand, help save American jobs, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil, it is supported by a broad coalition. That coalition includes the Big Three automakers, the United Autoworkers, car dealers, business groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers, the Chamber of Commerce and in the lead, the Obama Administration.

"Today, with this legislation, we will ensure a strong, American manufacturing base. As much as anything that we can do, in terms of addressing the auto industry in our country, this is a national security issue. The auto industry success is essential to ensuring that we have a strong manufacturing base. This legislation today will ensure that we have a strong manufacturing base and get more fuel-efficient vehicles on the road, which is essential to our economy, to our national security, and a clean, green future.

"Once again, I commend Congresswoman Sutton for her determination to accelerate the pace of when we would bring this legislation to the floor and I urge a strong, bipartisan support for the bill, which it certainly deserves."